A 6-run first inning set the tone as South Johnston’s varsity baseball team won a 13-3 rout in five innings over visiting Quad County 3-A Conference opponent East Wake on Friday night.
“It was good to see us put a lot up early in that first inning and kind of set the tone,” said South Johnston coach Aaron Parnell. “They did the same thing the first inning. They had bases loaded in the first and we found a way to get out of it. They helped us out a little bit and we kind of took advantage of it and poured a couple of extra ones on in the first.”
Sophomore starter Ben Grantham was the winning pitcher for the Trojans (6-4, 5-1 QCC), giving up one earned run on three hits and one walk, with two strikeouts in three innings. Freshman Will Johnson pitched one inning, allowing no runs on no hits and no walks. Junior Chase Norris pitched one inning, yielding two earned runs on four hits and no walks, with three strikeouts.
Junior Evan Barefoot had three hits, including a double and a triple, three RBIs and one run scored for South. Senior Carter Johnson had two hits, one RBI and two runs scored for the Trojans.
“They’re both scrappy hitters,” Parnell said. “Carter leading off the game, he got down 0-2 and fought and found a way to get the base hit and kind of started that whole thing. When he goes 0-2, if he becomes an easy out, then that whole thing might be different from the first inning. It was good that he started out like that and Evan coming right behind him, that’s huge, obviously.”
Paul Olive had one hit, three RBIs and two runs scored. Grantham had one hit and two RBIs. Dawson Anderson had a double and one RBI. Cody Bates and Nick Jackson each had one RBI. Mason Raynor and Chase Norris each had two runs scored. Luke Norris, Braxton Ennis, Brayden Barefoot and Jaydn McNeill scored one run apiece.
Parnell was pleased with the Trojans’ approach at the plate.
“That’s something we’ve been working on,” Parnell said. “These guys are taking pride in refusing to strike out and trying to find a way. And tonight, it led to a lot of walks. You throw pitches and they foul them off and eventually they do get a hit or just keep extending. Anywhere from a 7-10 pitch at-bat is a very long, good at-bat. I think we put together a lot of those tonight.”
Aaron Measley had two hits, one RBI and one run scored, and Jay Brown had two hits and one run scored to lead the Warriors (5-6, 1-5).
South scored six runs in the first inning, five in the second and two in the third. East Wake scored one run in the second inning and two in the fifth.
East Wake beat South Johnston 6-0 in varsity girls soccer.
The Warriors improve to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in conference play and the Trojans drop to 0-10 and 0-6.
Senior Jada Vick had two goals and two assists and junior Fiene Kersten had one goal and two assists to lead East Wake. Freshman Savannah Williford recorded the shutout in goal, including five saves.
There was no softball game at South on Friday night due to injuries involving East Wake players, according to South Johnston’s Twitter account. That matchup was reset for April 20.
South Johnston is at home against nonconference rival Triton in girls soccer on Monday and at conference opponent Fike in baseball, soccer and softball on Tuesday.