Havelock coach Matt James was feeling pretty good Wednesday night.
“We finally got one,” he said.
A pair of timely hits and the pitching of Josh Little helped the Rams break a six-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over West Craven in a Coastal 3A Conference game at Havelock High.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Havelock (5-8, 1-5) loaded the bases on Ryan Lewis’ infield hit and walks to Justice Provencher and Tanner Johnson. With two outs, Cameron Carpenter lined a double into left-center field, scoring two runs and putting the Rams up for good.
“He had a monkey on his back, and that had to feel good for him to come through in a critical spot,” James said of Carpenter. “He’s been up in a lot of those situations where he just hasn’t been able to pull the trigger, but he got it done tonight.
“It was a big lift for us when we went down 1-0. That’s been typical for us this year. We start slow and get behind. We’ve been playing from behind all year.”
The Rams got two more runs in the third when Travis Sabdo and Ryan Helms walked, and Provencher was hit by a pitch. Johnson ripped a two-run double just inside the right-field line, providing the Rams a 4-1 lead.
In all, West Craven pitchers walked eight Havelock hitters and hit two others with pitches.
“You give up 10 walks it’s kind of hard to beat a team,” West Craven coach Michael McKeel said. “We hit the ball pretty well, but 10 walks, you’re not going to beat many people.”
Little made the lead hold up. He pitched a complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts.
“I was extremely confident with Josh on the mound. He’s our guy,” James said of the future Pitt Community College player. “I didn’t think he had his best stuff. I’ve seen him throw better, but obviously he gutted it out.”
West Craven got on the board in the first when Adam Stephens’ single plated Anthony Rossi, who started the game with an infield hit. The Eagles narrowed the margin to 4-2 in the fifth when Hunter Games tripled to left and scored on Noah Lewis’ groundout. However, Little didn’t allow an Eagle runner over the final two innings and got solid defense from the Rams who made just one error in the contest.
“That’s a plus when you’re playing in one-run and two-run games,” James said. “We’ve had that bite us and have committed some errors, but one error, we cut down on those physical mistakes.”
Johnson had two of Havelock’s five hits on the night, with Lewis, Carpenter and Drew Simcox collecting the others.
Rossi, Stephens and Games each had two hits for West Craven (7-6, 3-3).
The Eagles are next scheduled to play at Swansboro on Thursday.
The Rams are scheduled to host Richlands on Thursday.