Published: Mar 11, 2012 09:13 AM
Modified: Mar 11, 2012 09:14 AM
Rick Parks has done well as a baseball coach at Northwood High School, but he’s good with chemistry, too.
Parks’s Chargers were able to piece together enough hits and sacrifices to go along with a couple of costly Chapel Hill errors Wednesday night to take a 5-2 non-conference win off the Tigers.
"I feel that we have great chemistry," Parks said. "These guys all like each other. There are no cliques on this team. It’s cool to have everybody on the same page."
Justin King supplied the game-winning RBI with what Parks termed "a major league fly" ball into deep centerfield in the fourth inning, scoring Justin King for a 3-2 lead.
That completed a 3-run inning for the Chargers (2-0). Ross Cooper batted in Northwood’s first run with a double that drove in Chris Runyan. After stealing third, Cooper scored on a dropped ball in the outfield.
Northwood’s own errors contributed to a 2-0 Chapel Hill lead in the third, after Tigers Matt Wayne and Roy Huang both walked, and Chad Fisher was hit by a pitch. Junior pitcher Clark Streets, in his first start, tried for a pick-off at first, but the overthrow allowed Wayne to score. Huang scored on a sacrifice by the next batter, Kevin Elefante.
CHHS (0-2) got six men on base in the last fourth innings, but got past second just once.
Streets almost gave up another run in the bottom of the fourth after singles by Grant Cabell and Grady Meier. Cabell was caught stealing second, and Meier was thrown out at the plate as he tried to reach home from second on a shot by Rourke Bauers into left field.
Northwood picked up an unearned run in the fifth, with Jacobi Harris reaching on a fielder’s choice and later scoring on a wild pitch. They got an insurance run in the sixth, as King doubled up the alley and then scored on a single into right field by Steven Strong.
"We have such a deep team, you can depend on everybody to make they play when they gave to," Northwood’s Conner Lawrence.
The win helped Lawrence feel a bit better after Tuesday’s game, when he had a no-hitter going until he gave up a single with two outs and two strikes to the penultimate batter. He struck out the next man to close out Northwood’s 6-0 conference win over Voyager Academy.
"Connor pitched a great game," said Parks, who had called for a curve ball on the fateful pitch, only to see the catcher confuse the signs and call for fast ball. "He just left that one pitch hanging on the outside."
Jordan Riggsbee led Northwood at the plate Wednesday, going 2-for-4. CHHS (0-2) got a 2-for-3 night from Grant Cabell. Luke Ciocca took the loss after four innings of work, despite putting down first nine Chargers in order.
"I saw a lot of good things tonight," said CHHS coach Randy Trumbower. "We failed to take advantage of some opportunities early, and that hurt some, but we played really well overall against a very, very good team."