Early offense, strong pitching lift Post 87

Jul. 19, 2014 @ 10:53 PM

The Post 87 HiToms have shown they can win however they need to.

After winning 10-8 on Friday, the HiToms scored three runs – two on Evan Edwards’ single – in the first inning and pitcher Bryce Lance rolled through nine innings in winning 3-0 on Saturday at Finch Field to lead the Area III championship series 2-0.

“Bryce was absolutely outstanding,” High Point coach Rob Shore said. “He had nine strikeouts his last performance but threw a lot of pitches, struggled with his control. But tonight he was absolutely on.

“He threw 89 pitches in nine innings, gave up six hits – that’s everything we’d ever want a pitcher to do. That was what we needed, because last night they pounded out 16 hits and scored eight runs. So, we had to use some pitching. Tonight was absolutely outstanding by Bryce.”

Lance scattered six hits and walked none while striking out eight in the win. His toughest spots were in the first, with two on and two out, and in the third, with two on and one out. But he escaped unharmed and otherwise cruised.

Behind him, the defense did not make an error, made two double plays – turning a smooth 6-4-3 double-play in the fourth – and Greg White made a nice diving catch in right field in the ninth.

“As far as the defense goes, we made all the big plays and my pitching was on tonight,” Lance said. “My fastball felt really good. It was tailing away, and the guys couldn’t keep up with it. And my curveball had a sharp break. That’s really all I used all night. ...

“I kind of got in a zone, and I just felt like it was easy.”

White led off the first with a single, then Colin Rosenbaum doubled, and Zach McLean was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Cesar Trejo then roped a single to score a run and, two batters later, Edwards ripped a two-out single to left-center to score two more.

That was pretty much it offensively, as not a single runner reach third after the first inning. The game was over in less than two hours. Dakota Devine, who allowed five hits and six walks while striking out five, took the loss for Winston-Salem, as Tanner Lomax had two hits.

“One thing I always remind my guys,” Shore said, “because we’d struggle in the first couple innings, is: ‘Guys, you can win the game in the first inning. It doesn’t always come down to your last at-bat. Sometimes it does. But if you score some runs, you can win it in the first inning.’

“That’s exactly what it was tonight. We were patient for one inning, and it paid off. The rest of the night, we were out front. I talked to the guys several times about staying back and trying to hit it the other way, and they couldn’t do it. Kudos to their pitcher because he had us off-balance.”

The best-of-five series continues Sunday at 7 p.m. at Rich Park in Mocksville.