Senior pitcher Danny Wilson was in total control from 60-feet, 6 inches, and Topsail struck early at the plate as the Pirates rolled to their 12th straight win in an 8-1 victory over Hoggard on Friday night.
Wilson used a sharp slider and just 78 pitches to record 11 strikeouts in a complete game effort, while Sam Hall launched his first homer of the season to pace the Topsail lineup.
“We definitely played a much cleaner game tonight compared to earlier this week and had some quality at-bats,” said Topsail Coach Granville Gehris. “We had some guys swing it, go back side and what can you say about Danny Wilson? He’s put in a ton of work this year to give us another quality arm and that’s going to be vital for us down the stretch.”
The right-handed hurler faced just four hitters beyond the minimum and allowed one run on four hits. Julian Blackburn was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs-three earned-on five hits in 3.1 innings.
Jake Madole started a three-run frame in the second when the senior ripped a double to the gap in left-center as the Pirates sent eight batters to the plate in the inning. Hall was issued a free pass in the next at-bat and Josh Madole dropped down a bunt base hit to set up a two run single by Wilson on a 1-2 pitch to make it 3-0.
Wilson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Hall finished 1-for-2 with a pair of runs batted in.
“In the offseason Coach [Scott] Cota really helped a lot on the mound,” said Wilson. “The few games I threw last year I struggled with my control and he definitely has helped with my command going through this season. The key is to get ahead the count and throw first pitch strikes. Tonight, I was able to use my off speed pitch early and able to throw it for strikes.”
Hall gave the Pirates a four-run cushion in the top of the third when the sophomore drilled an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left-center and that’s all the support Wilson needed as the Topsail starter retired the Hoggard hitters in order in the third and fourth.
Two runs on one hit and three walks gave Topsail a 6-0 lead in the fourth and the Pirates scored two more in the sixth to put the game in check after Brandon Boone drilled a solo shot to break up the shutout leading off the fifth for the Vikings.
Justin Blackburn also singled later in the frame, but Madole and Chase Riker turned a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning.
Wilson then fanned two in the sixth and got some help from Josh Madole as the sophomore made a nice grab running towards the first base dugout for the final putout. The senior struck out the side to close out the seventh.
“We’re trying to just keep our heads down right now and just play the game,” said Wilson. “We have a ton of confidence, but don’t want to be cocky. In practice we just go all out all the time and our heads are on straight, which is good for us.”
Jake Madole ended his night with a double, two walks and run scored, while Sam Luchansky went 0-for-2, but walked three times and scored a pair of runs.
Topsail improved to 7-1 atop the Mideastern Conference standings and 17-1 overall as the No. 1 ranked 3A team in the state. The Pirates return to the field on Saturday with a trip to Middle Creek.
In addition to Boone’s homer, Mitch Cadby had a double and Justin Blackburn singled for the Vikings three hits in the game. Hoggard fell to 6-3 in league play and 11-6 on the year.
Box score R H E
Topsail 031 202 0 8 7 0
Hoggard 000 010 0 1 3 2
WP: Danny Wilson LP: Julian Blackburn