Owls split doubleheader
Forest City pitcher Ryan Phillips turned in the fourth consecutive complete game effort for the Owls staff and the offense plated a pair of two out runs in the sixth inning to secure a 3-1 win over the Asheboro Copperheads in game one of their doubleheader Thursday. The victory marked the third straight for the Owls who move out last place in the Western Division.
“The complete games are huge, especially in doubleheaders,” said Owls manager David Tufo. It saves the bullpen. “Now that we have won three in a row, the attitude in the dugout is totally different. We have confidence now that we can turn things around. We have just got to keep it going.”
After Owls (7-12) starter Ryan Phillips retired the Copperheads on just five pitches in the first, he did his best Houdini act in the second.
Matthew Reistetter singled to lead off the frame and Luke Tendler doubled. Phillips bore down and stuck out the next batter and then got some defensive help.
Nick Weybright snagged a liner at short and flipped to second for the double play that kept the game scoreless.
Forest City took the lead in the in the bottom half. Matt Nadolski double to left field and the Owls played ABC baseball.
Derrick Pitts and Nick McQuail both put the ball in play to the right side, allowing Nodolski to score and give the home team a 1-0 lead.
That seemed to be more than enough for Phillips who held the Copperheads to just one additional hit until the sixth inning. Bobby Ison singled up the middle but was thrown out trying to steal second by Lucas Owens.
Forest City mounted a two out rally in their final at bat for some much needed insurance. Pitts reached on an infield hit and was doubled home on a deep drive to centerfield by McQuail. Owens followed with a liner up the middle that scored McQuail and give the Owls a 3-0 lead.
Asheboro didn’t go quietly in the seventh Tendler led off with a double and moved up 90 feet with the next two outs. As a result he cut the deficit to 3-1.
Phillips settled down and struck out Kenny Jackson to end the game.
As solid as the pitching was in Game 1, it was equally as shakey in Game 2.
Matt Nadolski loaded the bases in each of the first two innings giving up four runs as Asheboro cruised to an 8-2 win over Forest City.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Owls and drops their record to 7-13.
Hunter Bryant and Nate Chong both went 1-3 at the plate with a RBI to lead the offensive attack. Bryant’s came on the strength of his first homer of the season in the fourth frame.
The home team had their chances to get back in the game but stranded seven men in the game as they could not come up with the clutch hit to drive them home.
The Owls return to action today as they host rival Gastonia. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.