By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Beddingfield Bruins pitcher Casey Flora threw a no-hitter against the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars Friday night in Pinetops and spoiled the Cougars senior night celebration.
Beddingfield defeated the Cougars 7-2 in Eastern Plains Conference action and kicked all SouthWest’s hopes of having a shot at the playoffs out the door.
Flora threw a lot of off-speed pitches to keep the Cougar (5-15, 2-8) hitters guessing the entire game. His pitches worked and he never changed a thing the entire game.
Flora has an unordinary delivery that keeps hitters off balance. His curve ball throws hitters off guard, because it has a funny break to it. Flora walked only one Cougar and struck out four.
The majority of the Cougar hitters were way out in front of Flora's pitches and didn't sit back and wait like they were instructed to do by their coaching staff.
Flora was in complete command of the game until the Cougars scored two runs in the sixth inning off of Bruin errors. They finally hit some balls hard. Senior Nick Webb led off and hit a shot to centerfield and the center fielder missed played it and Webb ended up on third. Senior Justin Letchworth then hit a hard shot to third and the Bruins third baseman miss played it and allowed Webb to score. Two batters later, senior Chris Owens hit it hard to left field and that ball was missed played, which allowed Letchworth to score.
The Bruins made four errors in the game, two that inning and SouthWest had only six base runners the entire game. Besides Webb and Letchworth scoring, that was the only two times in the game that the Cougars had runners go past second base.
SouthWest coach Tommy Tolson was frustrated during the majority of the game and tried to get his team pumped up on numerous occasions and they just didn't respond to his command. They waited until the seventh inning to try and put a rally together and it was just too late for them.
Tolson was greatly frustrated after the game and said he didn't have any comments on how his team performed. He didn't have to comment on that, because the errors were enough that could be said on their performance.
They committed four errors, which allowed four runs to score and weren't down and ready on defense on numerous situations, which caught them off guard.
Senior Stephen Thompson took the loss. He threw 4 1/3 innings giving up five runs on three hits, while walking four and striking out two.
Brayden Morris relieved Thompson in the fifth with one out, but the Bruins managed to score off Morris before he could get out of that inning.
Morris gave up two runs on three hits and walked three and struck out three.
Flora got it going in the third when he reached on an error by the Cougars shortstop. The next batter Trey Barnes reached on a fielder's choice and then Collin Wilson singled to score both Flora and Barnes to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Bruins reached on an error by the Cougars third baseman and then one by the left fielder. On the error by the left fielder, Carmen Hedgepeth scored. Flora then singled home a run to make it 4-0.
In the fifth, the Bruins tacked on two more runs when Hedgepeth singled home two runs that had reached on back to back walks.
They added one more in the seventh. With the bases loaded, the Bruins tried to squeeze bunt and the Cougars catcher missed the ball and the run scored to make it 7-0.
The Cougars are out of playoff contention and seem to be playing for just pride. This is Tolson's third season as head coach and the Cougars have failed to make the playoffs under him each year.
They have had their ups and downs this season and hit a few skid marks along the way. They have had some good games where they played excellent defense and then there were games where errors hurt them and caused them to lose the game.
They have two more games remaining this season, before Tolson tries to regroup again.
Their next game will be Tuesday when they host the Tarboro Vikings at 7 p.m. and then Friday they travel to Kinston to for their season finale.