If all you knew about a Holly Springs-Fuquay-Varina baseball showdown in Southwest Wake Athletic Conference play was the Bengals were without three starters, the final score will surprise you.
Fuquay-Varina defeated the Golden Hawks 9-1 Friday at the Bengals’ field.
“I’m really proud of my team,” Fuquay coach Milton Senter said. “The guys put in the work in practice and took advantage of their opportunities.”
The missing were starting shortstop Ryan Rizk, who was with an ailing grandmother in New Jersey; starting right-fielder Justin Shelton, home with a 103-degree temperature; and scheduled starting pitcher Austin Harris.
Senior left-hander Trent Siebert moved up in the rotation to take Austin Harris’ place on the mound on short notice. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he got out of jams with defensive play and six strikeouts in four innings.
“I didn’t get ahead like I should, but Kyle Jackson made a great play at first and the outfield made some plays,” Siebert said. “My off-speed pitches worked when I needed them.”
Siebert also scored three runs and added an RBI. Jackson stroked a laser 360-foot solo home run to right field that bounced off the light pole.
Fuquay-Varina (4-1, 3-1 SWAC) was coming off a loss to Green Hope (4-1, 3-0 SWAC). Holly Springs also lost to Green Hope earlier and fell to 4-2 and 1-2 in the conference.
The Bengals loaded the bases in the third inning with one out and scored four runs for a 6-0 lead, although not as easily it sounds. The first run came when Siebert walked to force home Donald Nichols, who had doubled with one out. Nick Yanez followed with a deep shot to center field, but Holly Springs’ Patrick Wheeler played deep straightaway center and got a glove on the ball at the fence.
He wasn’t able to complete the catch, but with the runners holding, he threw to the infield to hold the Bengals to one run. Ironically, a routine single to left field was enough to score Jackson from third and Siebert from second.
Three to know
Camden Munise, Holly Springs: The junior left-fielder stroked a solo 360-foot home run to left-center into the pine trees in the fourth inning.
Brycen Braswell, Fuquay-Varina: The senior left-fielder took the mound in relief with the bases loaded in the fifth and struck out three batters. He whiffed seven in three innings of work.
Kevin Catrine, Fuquay-Varina: Batting ninth in the makeshift lineup, he stroked and single and double in three at-bats for two RBIs.
They said it
“Five of their nine runs were guys we walked and scored when they put the ball in play. We had a bases loaded and nobody out when it was 6-1. If we get a clutch hit there, it’s a new ballgame. We’ve got do a better job putting the ball in play. Their pitching had a lot to do with it, but 13 strikeouts is not going to win you many games in this league.” – Holly Springs coach Rod Whitesell.