Bostic blanks Rebels in first start
Alex Bostic gave up just one hit over four innings in Weddington's 11-0 win over Parkwood in five innings on Friday night.
The senior pitcher made his first start of the season on the mound for the Warriors (14-4, 9-0 Southern Carolina Conference) and looked strong as he pitched three perfect innings that included eight straight strikeouts.
WHS has won 13 games in a row.
The Rebels (2-14, 0-9 SCC) broke up the Clemson signee's no-hitter when sophomore Zach Farmer singled to right.
Bostic, recovering from an injury to his valuable left arm, made just his second appearance on the mound in 2013 — the first coming last Wednesday with two innings of relief.
"I feel like I settled down a little more than I did on Wednesday," Bostic said. "I was finding the zone more and I spun it a little better. I think I was just staying back a little longer. I was finishing my pitches better. I slowed up to see the target a little more and went out there and had fun."
When Bostic wasn't sitting Rebels batters down, the WHS bats were lighting up the scoreboard.
Junior Daniel Calabretta (Duke commit) led off the bottom half of the first inning with a single and was followed up one out later by a two-run blast to left by Jeremy Schellhorn (Charlotte signee) for a 2-0 lead against Rebels starter Danny Edwards.
Chris Simpson followed Schellhorn with a double and scored on Davis Norred's single to left for a 3-0 lead at the end of one.
After Bostic struck out the side in the second the offense went right back to work.
Calabretta got on with a one-out single, then Schellhorn was hit by a pitch with two outs before Simpson drove in Calabretta with his second double.
The Rebels had a chance to get out of the inning when Sean Collins popped up just but the ball was misread and fell just outside of the infield, allowing two runs to cross for a 6-0 lead going to the third.
Bostic struck out the side again in the third, giving him eight for the game.
Bostic, who struck out in each of his first two at-bats, blasted a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall and into the middle school parking lot in the three-run fourth inning.
The Warriors added their final two runs in the bottom of the fourth with a double by Josh Islam, followed by a walk to Norred. Landon Kay then doubled to center to score Islam, and Jeff Welch plated Norred with a groundout.
Schellhorn took the mound in the fifth and looked strong. Schellhorn struck out the first three batters he faced, with the third reaching on a passed ball. An error kept the inning alive, and Parkwood had runners on second and third when Schellhorn picked up his fourth strikeout of the inning to end the game.
WHS coach Travis Poole liked what he saw from Bostic and Schellhorn.
"You like to see them back and you're glad they're healthy no matter when it is," Poole said. "There is not a kid that plays on any team that I like to see go through arm problems. It's always good when it's your own to get to see them step back out there again — especially when they compete like those two do.
"We can throw as many bullpens as we want to throw but it's hard to simulate a live game. Just to get them out there and see them get some work in, it helps them mentally and it helps us as a baseball team."
Bostic was voted Union County's Player of the Year in 2012 after he went 12-0 with three saves and batted .400 with nine home runs. He led the Warriors to the 3A state title, and was named MVP of the championship series.
He's relieved to win his first start of 2013.
"It feels good but I still have to get my arm strength up," he said. "Everything is going as planned right now, everything feels good."
The Warriors play a three-game series against third-place Porter Ridge
"We just have to keep playing like we have been," Bostic said. "Our pitching is where it needs to be right now, hitting is where it needs to be. The fielding is doing pretty well."
The Warriors begin the series with the Pirates at home on Tuesday, while the Rebels look for their first conference victory of the season at home against Sun Valley.