Forsyth Central was led by a strong pitching performance to beat North Forsyth 5-2 on Monday night.
Ethan Hankins was excellent for Central (10-10, 2-5). The junior Vanderbilt commit pitched six scoreless innings, allowed three hits and struck out 11.
But Hankins was mostly pleased with one stat: zero walks.
“I had no walks, that’s the biggest thing,” Hankins said. “They had to work their way on. They pieced up a couple balls. Not a bad team. Kept the ball on the ground, not really a lot of solid contact, but overall no walks, that’s my biggest thing for the night.”
Brody Westbrooks pitched well for North (8-11, 1-6) on the other side as well. He was taken out after pitching 4 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, striking out three, and ended up with two earned runs.
Then the Raiders got into some trouble. Tucker Daniel came in for Westbrooks in the fifth and pitched to three batters, allowing a single and walking in a run. He left without recording an out.
Then Caleb Pipkins came in and gave up a two-run single to Jacob Holton, putting the Bulldogs up 5-0.
“We got enough key hits at key times tonight to get a few runs across,” Central Head Coach Kevin McCollum said. “But North’s a good team just like everyone else in the region.”
In the top of the sixth, Hankins got in a little trouble. North’s Colin Sanders roped a double into the left-center field gap to give the Raiders runners on second and third with one out. But Hankins was able to get out of it and preserve the 5-0 lead after six.
Hankins was taken out after throwing 83 pitches, including 57 strikes and 26 balls.
“I thought Ethan [Hankins] threw the ball well,” McCollum said. “Threw a lot of strikes, like I said, didn’t have any walks. I think any time you do that and you throw a lot of strikes, that was the lowest his pitch count has been going this late into the game, so that’s good to see.”
North’s Chopper Thronson hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to put the Raiders on the board. But that was all they got.