KUSZ HE CAN
Riverside’s Jake Kusz sent one into the trees to give the Pirates a key 10-run cushion in the third inning against Carrboro (7-8) on Wednesday.
“I got a belt-high fastball, right where I wanted it,” Kusz said.
PAC-6 4-A leader Riverside (11-5, 5-1 PAC-6) beat Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference visitor Carrboro 10-0 in the non-conference match-up that ended in the fifth inning instead of going the full seven because of the 10-run high school mercy rule that stops contests when teams are ahead by 10 or more after five innings.
Kusz’s home run drove in Bub Deluca, who reached base on a two-run double, one of two doubles he’d hit on the night, driving in a game-high four runs.
The Pirates scored seven runs in that decisive third inning on the strength of doubles by Kory Behenna and Blake Morgan before Kusz rearranged the greenery behind center field.
“Once we got the lead, we kind of hit a couple of more shots and put them away,” first-year Riverside coach Doug Simmons said.
The Jaguars had an opportunity to put runs on the scoreboard with the bases loaded in the first inning, but some unfortunate base running cost them.
“We had the bases loaded,” Carrboro coach Nat Tyndall said. “My guy gets picked off on first base. Then my guy tries to come home (and was thrown out).”
Before coming to Riverside, Simmons was the recruiting coordinator at UNC Pembroke. Simmons also has coached at Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville and at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg.
Riverside 10, Carrboro 0
(5 innings, mercy rule)
Carrboro 000 00—0 1 2
Riverside 037 0x—10 10 1
Ben West, John Davis (2nd) Jacob Scarlette (3rd) and Spencer Brown. Will Hibbard, Kory Behenna (4th) and Micah Goodwin, Hibbard. WP—Hibbard; LP—West. Leading hitters — Carrboro, Seth Andres 1-2 (2B); Riverside, Bub Deluca 2-3 (2 2B, 4 RBI), Blake Morgan 1-2 (2B, RBI), Jake Kusz 2-3 (HR, 2 RBI), Matt Threadgill 1-1 (2 RBI).
Records — Carrboro 7-8, Riverside 11-5.