Ben’s Ford blanked by Sylva Bay Academy

Published 6:43 am Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ben’s Ford Christian School’s Eagles suffered a 5-0 loss to Mississippi’s Sylva Bay Academy’s Saints at home Thursday afternoon.

The pitchers were tough. Sylva Bay (3-1) got a solid performance out of starter Tyler Wells, who threw four shutout innings, allowing just two hits with four strikeouts. He faced just one over the minimum.

“You’ve just gotta trust your defense (no errors), throw strikes and trust them to back you up,” Wells said.

Wells’ brother Garrett pitched the final three frames of one-hit ball with three strikeouts and two walks.

Ben’s Ford’s Cole Edward was also tough. He went the distance on just 78 pitches, allowing no earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts, one hit batter and he did not walk anyone.

Edward, who said his curveball and slider are doing well for him right now, felt he did all right.

“I didn’t do what I’m capable of,” Edward said.

Edward said the team has done well of late and said Thursday was just a slump day.

Eagles’ coach Jerod Wascom, whose club was 4-5 at press time, said Edward did outstanding.

“He pitched a complete game with 78 pitches and that was with the errors behind him in the first, second and third inning,” Wascom said. “We gave up four outs in the first inning, five outs in the second, which put us down 4-0. It’s pretty much the difference in the game right there.”

Wascom said Edward mixes his pitches up and stays down in the zone.

“He doesn’t allow them to hurt him. He doesn’t leave much up. If they hit him hard, it’s usually on the ground,” Wascom said.

The Eagles committed an error in each of the first four innings, which led to the five unearned runs. Offensively, they struggled to mount any kind of attack. The furthest any runner got was second base.

Coach Wascom said Sylva Bay beat his club in all three phases of the game.

“The pitcher threw strikes, stayed ahead and kept us off balanced,” Wascom said. “They made the routine (plays) and they hit the ball. We gave up five runs and every one of them was unearned. The pitcher (Edward) pitched his heart out and did a good job. We didn’t play defense behind him. I think we came in thinking we were going to walk through this game. We ended up playing flat and you see the outcome. That’s where we’re at, we just have to go back to work and get better.”

Sylva Bay got on the board in the first. Leadoff hitter Justin Bumgardner reached on an error. After a pair of force outs at second, Kyle Gardner was hit and Kolten McCarthy drove in the first run with an RBI double.

The Saints extended the lead to 4-0 in the second. With one out, Cade Anderson reached on a miscue. Following the second out, Sylva Bay strung three consecutive hits together. Bumgardner recorded an infield single before Tyler Butler drove in a run with an RBI single and then Thornton plated two with a two-run double to the right centerfield gap.

The final run occurred in the fourth Tyler Wells helped himself with a single. After a force out and a fly out, Thornton reached on an error, which gave the Saints a 5-0 lead.

Tyler Wells retired the first nine he faced before Shelby Culpepper put the Eagles in the hit column with a single through the left side. The next hitter grounded into a double play, but Destin Pittman singled.

The only hit Garrett Wells allowed was a single to Josh Crain.

Ben’s Ford had just five base runners with Cody Stewart and Brian Hines both drawing walks.