Benfield throws no-hitter, Aces advance
By Malcolm Shields
Friday, May 12, 2017
EDENTON — Edenton pitcher Mathew Benfield went seven innings and secured a no-hitter as the Edenton baseball team defeated Washington 7-0 on Thursday night.
Benfield, a senior, struck out 11 batters to earn the win in the 2A state playoff second round contest at Hicks Field.
“It’s big for me, but it’s only the second round,” Benfield said. “I just want to keep winning and get back to the fifth round, win a best-of-three and get to the state championship.”
The fifth round is the 2A East Regional Final series.
As for Thursday’s contest, the Pam Pack struggled to square up Benfield.
Washington (15-8) only reached base on an error and a pair of walks.
Benfield retired the first eight Washington batters before the error in the outfield in the third put a Pam Pack runner on base.
“He was in complete command from the first pitch to the last pitch,” Edenton baseball coach Bob Jordan said. “He was sharp.”
That was apparent as in the final three innings, the Pam Pack only reached base on a walk.
Benfield also struck out the side in the fifth.
Edenton (22-3) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Dylan Patrick was hit by a pitch which scored the first run, while Chace Kelley forced home the second run on a fielder’s choice groundout.
The Aces broke the game open in the fifth with three runs. Two of which were scored on a two-run double by Patrick.
Before Patrick’s double and with a runner on third base with one out, the Aces executed a successful squeeze play by Ben Ward to take a 3-0 lead.
Edenton added two more runs in the sixth, which included an RBI single by Ward.
“We’ve been preaching approach to our hitters,” Jordan said.
The Aces, the No. 2 seed in the East region, will host a third round contest against the winner of the Roanoke Rapids-East Duplin game on Tuesday.