PLAS tops Northside Methodist, 8-2

Published 11:48 am Friday, March 16, 2012

Josh Starling delivers a pitch against Northside Methodist. (Photo/Wes Johnson)

Following a 4-for-4 performance on Wednesday, Taytom Barnes again highlighted a Pike Liberal Arts victory. Barnes doubled home two runs with two outs in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie as the Patriots knocked off Northside Methodist, 8-2. With the opening round win in the Jonah McWaters Tournament, Pike advanced to face Abbeville Friday at 2p.m.

The Patriots were the beneficiaries of several early Northside Methodist errors. Chandler Avant reached on a wild throw by the Knights shortstop to lead off the game and would score two batters later on Blake Floyd’s double.

Avant singled in the third, quickly stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Lawson Stewart rolled a two-strike fastball to the second baseman to plate Avant and give the Patriots a 2-0 lead.

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Pike starter Josh Starling was flawless other than a rough path in the fourth. Starling hit the lead off batter then struck out the next hitter. A soft fly ball to right avoided a diving Dustin Newman and rolled to the wall allowing a run to score. Northside Methodist would score one more in the frame but Staring would not surrender another hit in the contest.

Starling pitched the full seven innings allowing the two runs – neither earned – on just one hits. The senior walked one and struck out 11.

Avant, who was 2-for-4 on the game, added a solo homerun in the sixth with 2-outs. Floyd and Nick McLaughlin would each add RBI singles in the inning to extend Pike’s lead to 8-2.

Floyd continued to swing a hot bat for the Patriots finishing 3-for-3 on the day with a pair of RBI.

Newman and Starling also had hits in the game.

Tournament play continues at noon on Friday with a first round match between Crenshaw and Lakeside.

Follow @Messenger_Wes on Twitter for updates.