Owls open second half with win over Copperheads
Monday night marked the beginning of the CPL’s second half, and the Forest Owls made the most of the fresh start defeating the Asheboro Copperheads 7-3.
Carl Wise paced the Owls by turning in a 3-4 night, with a homer, double, three RBIs and two runs scored.
“We had a team meeting and got some things off our chest,” said Owls manager David Tufo. “I told them good teams play their best baseball in the second half and that’s exactly what we did tonight. Asheboro is a good team and we showed that they aren’t invincible,”
After the Owls (11-17, 1-0 second half) retired the Copperheads on six pitches, they went right to work on offense. Jake Rowland led off with a double and Blake Butler walked. Derrick Pitts followed with a RBI single while Nick McQuail doubled to make the tally 3-0. After Forest City reloaded the bases before Carl Wise singled over short to bring home two more runs as the Owls led 5-0.
After Asheboro got two of those runs back in the second, the Copperheads replaced Jonathan King on the mound with Conner Potter who made quick work of the Owls in the second .
Forest City flashed the leather in the third. With Dalton Rouleau on base, Oscar Senay hit a sharp grounder back to pitcher Noah Buettgen. He fired to third and Rouleau in a rundown. After Rouleau was tagged out, Carl Wise fired to first to complete the double play.
Wise’s good inning continued at the plate in the bottom half. With two outs, Wise took Porter deep over the left field wall for a solo homer. That blast gave the Owls a four run advantage at 6-2.
Both pitchers settled down from that point until the top of the fifth. In that inning, Colin Herring sent a 2-2 two out pitch to the centerfield wall which scored KJ McAlister. That RBI cut the Owls lead in half at 6-3.
After Forest City went quietly in their next at bat, Lucas Owens did mange a two out walk in the sixth,. He was thrown out trying to steal, however to end the inning.
Nick Weybright came on in relief of Buettgen and worked a scoreless seventh inning and his teammates tried to give him more run support in the bottom half. Rowland led off the seventh a single up the middle off new Asheboro pitcher Matthew Pope. He then swiped second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Butler then hit a grounder to third baseman Ryan Karl who threw home to nab Rowland at the plate despite the protests of Tufo.
The bottom of the Owls order manufactured a run in the eighth.
Wise led off with a single and pinch hitter Jeff Revesz walked. Kendall Keeton dropped a perfect bunt single down the third base line to load the bases. Rowland then worked a walk to drive in Wise to put Forest City up 7-3.
That extra run looked to be big as reliever Sam Daniel walked the first two men he faced in the ninth.
But he struck out Kenneth Jackson and got Austin Bossart to roll into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Forest City returns home Thursday as they face Martinsville with fireworks to follow.