The Topsail baseball team seemed settled in at the USA Baseball Complex on Thursday afternoon in Cary. After getting shut out in the opener Wednesday, the Pirates responded with a strong team effort in a 5-2 victory over Rocky Mountain High School from Fort Collins, Colorado.
Starting pitchers Payton Rice and John Sorenson matched each other early in the ballgame by posting zeros on the scoreboard before Topsail struck for three runs in the fourth.
As compared to yesterday’s game, when they struggled to get the bats going, the Pirates stayed within their approach to gain a 3-0 lead. Back-to-back singles by Garret Myrka and Sam Hall put runners on the corners with nobody out. Josh Madole smacked an RBI single followed by a base hit from Chase Riker two batters later to load the bases. Aaron Beach made it a two-run advantage with the fifth one-bagger in the inning, while Jake Luchansky capped the rally by hitting into a fielder’s choice for the second out to grab the run batted in.
The Lobos responded in the bottom of the fourth to cut into Topsail’s cushion before the Pirates produced insurances runs in the fifth and sixth to secure the victory. Beach showed speed on the base paths with a bunt single and an extra base hit to aid the nine-hit attack. Hall ripped a double and Riker joined his teammates with a multi-hit game.
Rice went the distance to improve to 4-0 on the mound this season. The senior may have not had the same control from the other night in a shutout against New Hanover, but the righty battled to get his team on track, allowing two runs on six hits, with five walks and three strikeouts in his second straight complete game.
Topsail improved to 7-1 overall. They continue play at the National High School Invitational on Friday. Time of game and opponent are yet to be determined.
Topsail 000 311 0 5 9 0
Rocky Mountain 000 200 0 2 6 1
WP: Payton Rice LP: John Sorenson