Breaking even isn’t something the South Mecklenburg baseball team is used to, coach Jon Tuscan said.
So the Sabres’ 4-1 victory over Weddington on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the Smoothie King Easter Tournament is positive sign for a young team trying to get the program back to the 4A state championship.
Right-handed starter Woodson Alexander and relief pitcher John Bagyi held Weddington to four hits, and Lawson McArthur drove in two early runs with a pair of singles to stake South Meck (7-5) to a lead they wouldn’t give up.
“The .500 level isn’t where we want to be around here,” Tuscan said. “We’re young and we’ve lost some games to more experienced teams. So this was big for us,”
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Freshman Alexander, making only his second start of the season, scattered four hits over six innings and had a two-hit shutout before giving way to Bagyi, who pitched a three-up, three-down seventh.
“It was good to get a start against a good team and to show what I can do to help the team,” Alexander said. “I thought I had good command of my fastball, and I was able to get most of my pitches in the strike zone.”
South Meck did most of its scoring in the first three innings. McArthur’s two-out single in the first drove in Carter Hipps, who led off the inning with a walk. McArthur singled in Hipps again in the third inning, where Andrew Motsinger also had an RBI single.
The Sabres other run came in the fifth inning when Juan Diaz drew a leadoff walk and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch by Weddington pitcher Tyler Penner
“Getting some early runs really helped us,” Tuscan said. “That gave Woodson a chance to settle in and make some good pitches.”
The Warriors (3-7) scored their only run in the fifth. Drake Smith led off with an infield hit, went to second on an infield error and scored on designated hitter Colby Bruce’s single with two out.
The eight-team tournament is being played at South Meck and Providence. The tournament will resume on Monday and Tuesday. South Meck will play the winner of Saturday’s Butler and Hough game on Monday.