The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 25, 2013

Vikings blanked 1-0 by Bulldogs

Sports Correspondent

TARBORO — It is a game of inches and anyone could've made something happen at anytime Friday night at Municipal Stadium. The Nash Central Bulldogs found that extra inch and used it to their advantage and scored their lone run of the game in third inning to defeat the Tarboro Vikings 1-0.

Before the game, Vikings (2-6) coach Justin Smith challenged his team defensively and at the plate. The defense stepped it up and answered the challenge.

The challenge was issued, because the Vikings had committed 10 errors in their previous two games and Smith knew his team couldn't win games like that. Tarboro played near perfect on the defensive side of the ball and didn't commit an error.

"This game was a challenge and they answered the challenge we issued to them on defense," Smith said. "We knew how we had been playing on defense we challenged them to play up to their potential and knew we could play with Nash Central."

On the offensive side of the ball, Tarboro had their problems. Nash Central lefty Colton Vaughn made sure he wasn't going to give in to the Vikings hitters. He gave up only one hit, which was by Corey Baker, and walked three.

Tarboro stranded six base runners throughout the game and three of them were left in scoring position.

Smith hopes his team can use the loss as a building block and learn from their mistakes at the plate.

"Yes it is tough to lose a 1-0 ball game but this is something we can build off of," Smith said. "I will take this loss over a game where we give it away by making a bunch of errors."

Trey Radford suffered the loss for the Vikings. Radford was on point the whole night and made one mistake that came back to haunt him. In the third inning, he walked the second batter he faced that inning and two batters later, gave up a base hit which allowed the only run of the game to score.

Radford threw a complete game giving up one run on just four hits, while striking out four.

"Trey was outstanding for us," Smith said. "He stayed ahead of the hitters and made good pitches when he needed to. The defense picked him up and made the plays behind him."

Pitching has been the Vikings golden tool this season. Their pitches have made good pitches at the right times, but the defense has been less then average behind them. Out of the eight games the Vikings have played this season, only once has a starting pitcher not gone at least five innings for the Vikings.

"Our pitchers are pitching the rear ends off and we have to make plays behind them like we did tonight," Smith said. "The pitching has carried us this season."

Tarboro is back in action Tuesday night when they host the Kinston Vikings at 7 p.m.