Published: Apr 01, 2012 10:28 AM
Modified: Apr 01, 2012 11:20 AM
CHAPEL HILL - East Chapel Hill is making it difficult for nay-sayers to cast any doubts on its baseball teams win streak.
It might have seemed like a fluke when it started fueled by a singular pitching performance by Max Hoffman against previously unbeaten Riverside or a 14-runs-in-one-inning collapse by Jordan.
But, now that East Chapel Hill (8-3, 6-0 PAC) has its streak up to seven straight wins, even skeptics have to think the Wildcats are for real.
"If you had told me before the season that we could be 4-2 in the conference after one half of the season, Id have signed off on that right there," East Chapel Hill head coach Phil Woodell said. "But in first place, and Id like to stay there."
The Wildcats made believers out of Chapel Hills Tigers last Wednesday, banging out 12 hits against three, good CHHS pitchers in a 9-5 non-conference win for East Chapel Hill.
"They were well-prepared. They came out and hit well and played well," Chapel Hill head coach Randy Trumbower said. "East is always a tough challenge because its your friends. You never want to lose to your brother or lose to your friends."
Chapel Hill didnt help its cause with four errors, giving up three unearned runs, but the Wildcats did most of the damage with their bats.
Infielder-pitcher Aaron Bonertz, DH John Page and catcher Thomas Myslinski all going 2-for-4; both of Myslinskis hits were doubles, and Page hit one double. Bonertz batted in two runs, and Bennett Byerley batted in one while going 2-for-3 at the plate. Jack Hankins, Josh Baldwin and starting pitcher Max Hoffman also had hits.
Hoffman, 2-0 with one save so far this season, threw about 40 pitches over three innings to stretch and then rest a sore back. Bonertz (1-1) moved over from first base to strike out five and walk just one Tiger over last four innings to collect the win on the mound.
Luke Ciocca took the loss.
Ciocca, Andrew Miller, Kevin Elefante and Sean Dawson each got singles for CHHS, while Grant Cabell and Rourke Bauers hit doubles, but the Tigers had trouble stringing together hits.
CHHS put three runs on the board in the third, cutting Easts early lead down to 4-3, but the Cats answered in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back doubles by Page and Myslinski to start a three-run rally.
Easts win over CHHS was sandwiched in between two PAC-6 victories an 18-8 win Tuesday at Southern Durham and 4-0 Thursday against Hillside.
"Were feeling really confident now," Baldwin said. "Just a couple more wins, and we could win the conference this year."
Byerley (1-0) pitched for the win at Southern, and Eric Janken (1-0) picked up the win Thursday in his first appearance of the year.
East pounded 17 hits Tuesday, led by Baldwins 3-for-4 hitting with two RBI. Alex Moore (3-5), Bonertz (2-3) and Hoffman (2-3) all batted in at least one run.
Thursday, Hillsides Russell Hernandez proved unexpectedly strong, holding the Cats to just six hits. Myslinski paced them at the plate by going 2-3 with an RBI. Byerley and Page both went 1-2.
"Were finding ways to win," Woodell said. "Were playing good baseball, but
Ive been telling the kids for a while, weve got to play better if were going to continue to win."