Sports

March 27, 2013

Prep roundup: Northwest Whitfield pitcher in his groove

Seth Pierce is pitching like the ace of a first-place team.

Good thing, too — that’s what he is right now.

Behind the sophomore’s 13-strikeout, complete-game effort, Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team remained undefeated in Sub-region 7B-4A play with a 2-1 win Tuesday night at Heritage-Catoosa.

Heritage was previously unbeaten before the Bruins (9-3) ran their own sub-region record to 4-0 with the victory. They share first place with Dalton, which is 3-0 in sub-region play and did not play Tuesday night.

Pierce allowed one unearned run off a hit and a walk, and he helped the Bruins establish a two-run cushion before he ever stepped to the mound. Pierce went 2-for-3 for the game and had an RBI single in the first inn-ing, with his hit following A.J. Orozco’s RBI single.

“That definitely gives the pitcher some confidence and lets them relax a little bit,” Northwest coach Todd Middleton said. “Seth was pretty dominant.”

Brady Middleton added a 3-for-4 effort for the Bruins, who had chances to score in the second, third and fourth innings but couldn’t add insurance runs.

In last week’s 12-0 win against Ridgeland, Pierce struck out 11 in a complete-game, three-hit shutout. That included a streak where he struck out nine batters in a row.

“We can’t rely on our pitchers throwing shutouts every game,” coach Middleton said.

The Generals scored their lone run in the fourth when Pierce hit the leadoff batter, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an error.

The teams play again at 5:30 p.m. Thurs-day in Tunnel Hill, the second of the three-game series format the sub-region is using, and at 5 p.m. Friday at Heritage.

LaFayette 9, Southeast 8: The Raiders (3-9, 0-4) blew a five-run lead in the seventh and a one-run lead in the eighth as a result of four errors in the two innings as a failure to make the “routine plays” proved costly, Southeast coach Brad Lofton said.

Pedro Vargas pitched 4 2/3 innings for Southeast, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one. Blake Foster pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits with two walks while striking out three. Only two of the runs were earned.

At the plate, Austin Pratt was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Blake Foster was 2-for-5 with a double, Cody Manly was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs, Devin Gentry had a double and Abram Stanley added an RBI single.

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