Cowboys lasso Bison for 4-3 win

Apr. 23, 2013 @ 11:36 PM

The Southwest Guilford baseball team has one goal in mind: to make the playoffs.

With Tuesday’s 4-3 win at rival High Point Central, the Cowboys continued to close in on that goal, picking up a key win in the final week of Piedmont Triad 4A Conference play to stay tied for fourth with five teams near the top of the standings.

“Since the Easter break, we’ve played really well,” said Southwest coach Reid Holmes, whose team has won four straight. “I just think we’ve jelled more as a team, and I think we’ve got some guys who are playing with a little more confidence.

“We were a little slow starting this year. We had a couple with injuries, a couple who were in winter sports. So, it kind of took us the first part of the season to kind of find our identity. And so now I think we’re just starting to play better.” 

The Cowboys (10-11, 6-5 PTC) scored four runs in the first four innings to lead 4-0 and, behind the pitching of starter Zach Saylor, held off the Bison (15-6, 7-4 PTC), who are now tied for second with Ragsdale, in the final two innings.

Southwest scored one in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth, capitalizing on just a couple miscues by Central that opened the door. Andrew Bullock had two RBIs, including one on a third-inning triple, while Alex Dean also had a second-inning RBI single.

“We just wanted to come out strong and try to make a playoff spot,” said Saylor, who went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a run. “We’re coming together as a team now and hitting the baseball. Just don’t make errors and keep hitting.”

The Bison, after missing on a few opportunities early, did regroup to score two in the sixth and added one in the seventh. Colin Fowler scored on an error, then Will Johnson singled home a run to pull within 4-2. 

Trevor Gay then added an RBI single and, as the tying run, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Kahny then drew a two-out walk to put the winning run on base. Saylor, however, got a strikeout to end the game.

“Our kids have got some grit and some character,” Central coach Ken Morgan said. “It’s a matter of playing with that character for seven innings. That’s what it boils down to — that urgency. They’ve got the character to work with it and not quit but we’ve got to do it for seven innings.

“I’m proud of the way we battled back, but I’m getting tired of battling back,” he said with a laugh. “If we’d have that sense of urgency in the second inning with the bases loaded, then you have a chance to put the pressure on them. But we just haven’t come through the last couple weeks.”

Kahny (2-2) took the los, pitching 3 2/3 innings before Alex Burnette came on to pitch well in relief. Saylor (2-3) picked up the complete-game win, striking out four. Luke Beane also had three hits, including two doubles, for the Bison.

Both teams finish the regular season Friday night, with Central hosting Ragsdale in a key game at 7 while Southwest visits Parkland at 6. Northwest Guilford, which is off Friday, leads the PTC at 9-3, followed by Central and Ragsdale at 7-4 and East Forsyth and Southwest Guilford at 6-5.