After five non-conference games, Havelock coach Matt James has learned a key thing about his baseball team heading into the Coastal 3A schedule.
“The guys don’t quit,” James said after the Rams fell behind in the first inning but came back to handle East Carteret 9-4 Friday at Havelock High. “They don’t get too down on themselves, which is good, because there’s going to be some bad things that happen to them on the field, and they have to be able to turn the page. They have to be able to make the next play.”
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Havelock (3-2) got going with Luke Magyar’s single with two outs, Michael Finney’s RBI single, and Justice Provencher’s two-run bloop double to lead 3-1.
Havelock added to the lead in the third with the help of two East Carteret errors, a wild pitch and an RBI fielder’s choice from Josh Little to lead 5-1. In the fourth, Cameron Carpenter had an RBI single, and in the fifth, Matt Gray had a long sacrifice fly to plate another run, giving the Rams a 7-1 lead.
“It was good to score some runs,” said James, whose team lost to East Carteret 2-0 on Monday. “We played them Monday, and they did a good job mixing things up, and we only got one hit, so it was good to see us put the ball in play more. If we score every inning, that helps. It takes a lot of pressure off our pitching.”
After allowing a first-inning run, Carpenter shut down East Carteret for the next three innings on the mound. He allowed just two hits while walking four and striking out six. Little finished for the Rams, allowing three runs on five hits but striking out eight over three innings.
“Cameron settled in and got us four quality innings,” James said. “He hadn’t been on the mound in over a week, and it took him a little while to get the ball down in the strike zone a little bit. He settled in and did a good job and really threw the ball well the second through the fourth innings.
“And, it’s good to have Josh come in with a lead. If we can get a lead and are able to bring him in, we feel pretty good that he’s going to hold that lead.”
The Rams scored two more runs in the sixth, with Ryan Lewis coming home on a double steal and Travis Sabdo adding an RBI single. The Rams totaled eight hits, with Carpenter going 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Magyar going 2-for-4. Provencher, Sabdo, Finney and Billy Watkins collected Havelock’s other hits.
East Carteret tallied seven hits, the biggest of which was Brennan Lewis’ solo home run in the seventh inning.
The Rams are scheduled to open play in the Coastal 3A Conference at Richlands on Tuesday night.