Grant Sasser pitched six innings of four-hit baseball and Jay Rose had a key three-run homer to lead Pikeville Charles B. Aycock to a 9-3 victory over Southeast Guilford in the first game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A baseball championship series on Friday at Doak Field on the N.C. State campus.
The win improved Aycock¹s record to 30-4 and moved the Golden Falcons to within one win of its first state baseball title. Southeast dropped to 23-6.
Game two in the best-of-three series is set for Saturday morning at eleven o¹clock. Game three, if necessary, would be played Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Sasser won his 10th decision on the year against no losses, allowing just one run and fanning seven. He pitched out of one jam in the second inning when the Golden Falcons turned a double play behind him with the bases loaded.
Then Aycock erupted for four runs in the home half of the third, keyed by the three-run blast by junior Rose. Rose went two for four with four runs batted in.
Southeast cut the margin to 5-1 on a solo homer by Jeff Medley in the sixth, but then Aycock put it away with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth, the key blow a two-run triple by Zack Wright.
Garrett Davis was three for four at the plate for Aycock with two RBI and two stolen bases, while Rose, Wright and Bill Edgerton each had two hits.
Southeast got its final two runs in the seventh on solo home runs by Justin Venable and Ben Areno, Areno getting his seventh homer of the year.