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The Caps’ varsity hosted Holly Springs on Wednesday 3/26/14.  The Caps used 7 pitchers in the non-conference matchup, surrendering just 3 earned runs in the 8 inning game.  The Caps lead 4 – 0 after 4 innings but would not score again while leaving 10 runners on-base.  The visitors would rally to tie the game in the 6th and score an unearned run in the 8th to gain the victory.

Offensive leaders for the game: Dom Ford (3 – 4, 2B, HBP, SB), Rob Case (1 – 3, BB, Run), John Baldwin (2 – 4, 2 RBI, Run), Jake Baize (1 – 3, 2B, HBP) and Ben Eller (1 – 4, RBI).

The Caps varsity will play in the Bobby Murray High School Invitational Tournament on Thursday 4/3/14, Friday 4/4/14 and Saturday 4/5/14.

(Varsity Record: Overall 5 – 5; Conference 1 -2)

The Caps junior varsity was idle on Wednesday and does not play again until Wednesday 4/9/14.

(JV Record: Overall 3 – 6; Conference 2 – 2)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

The Caps’ varsity travelled to Optimistic Park to face pre-season conference favorite Sanderson on Monday 3/24/14.  The Caps used three pitchers and two big offensive innings to beat the Spartans 9 – 6 in 10 innings.  This was the Caps third extra-inning game and first extra-inning win of the season.

Sophomore Thomas Walden started on the mound for the Caps and threw 4 solid innings.  Senior Ben Eller relieved in the 5th inning; senior Rob Case relieved in the 9th inning and also pitched the 10th.  Eller and Case combined to hold the Spartans scoreless over the final 5 innings of the game.  “Our pitchers made some big pitches in some big spots.  Eventually we got a couple of key hits to put them away.  It was a great effort over and over again during the course of the game” noted head coach Harry Jones.

The Caps’ offense sputtered to start the game, recording only 1 hit in the first 4 innings, and trailed 2 – 0 after 4 innings.  The Caps erupted for 6 runs in the 5th inning to chase the Spartans’ starter Ray Roby.  Senior John Baldwin led off the inning with a single; sophomore Jake Baize, senior Jackson Williams, senior Jared Feeny, junior Dom Ford, and Case all contributed in the inning.  Senior Eric Collins would deliver the big blow of the inning with a 3-run double.

After the Spartans tied the game at 6 in their half of the 5th inning, the Caps’ relief pitching would shutout the Spartans the rest of the game.  In the top of the 10th inning, Feeny and Ford would reach base safely and score the go ahead runs on a 2-run triple by senior Ben Sawyer.  Sawyer would score on a sacrifice fly by Case to account for the 9 – 6 final score.

Offensive leaders for the game: Ben Sawyer (2 – 6, 3B, 2 RBI, run), Eric Collins (2 – 5, BB, 3 RBI), John Baldwin (1 – 3, BB, HBP, Run), and Jared Feeny (1 – 4, SAC, 2 runs, 2 SB).

The Caps varsity will host Holly Springs on Wednesday 3/26/14 at 4:30 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 5 – 4; Conference 1 -2)

The Caps junior varsity hosted Sanderson on Monday 3/24/14 where they dropped a 10 – 0 decision to the Spartans.

(JV Record: Overall 3 – 6; Conference 2 – 2)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

The Caps’ varsity combined pitching, defense and an opportunistic offense to take an early lead on the Millbrook Wildcats at Wiley Warren Field on Friday 3/21/14.  But the Wildcats clawed their way back into the game in the late innings and eventually handed the Caps a 6 – 3 loss.

“We got a couple of big 2-out hits early in the game to take the lead but then we seemed to run out of steam.  We need to raise the energy level, it needs to be more consistent, and we need to maintain it through the course of the game” commented head coach Harry Jones.

The Caps opened the scoring in the first inning when junior Dom Ford scored on a 2-out double by senior Eric Collins.  Ford would score again in the third inning on a 2-out double by senior Rob Case.  Senior John Baldwin would tally the Caps’ final run in the fourth inning on an RBI walk by sophomore Thomas Walden.  But the Caps would leave the bases loaded that inning and the offense stalled thereafter.

Meanwhile, the Caps’ defense was spotless through 4 innings and senior pitcher Ben Sawyer limited the Wildcats to 4 hits in those first four innings.  Case turned in a spectacular defensive play at second base to rob a Wildcat of one hit.  But the visitors would scratch out two runs in the fifth inning on an error and a 2-run homerun.  A wild pitch plated the Wildcats’ third run in the 6th inning.  With momentum on their side, the visitors would add three runs in the 7th inning to take the 6 – 3 win.

Offensive leaders for the game: Dom Ford (1 – 3, BB, 2 runs), Rob Case (2 – 4, 2B, RBI), Eric Collins (1 – 3, 2B, RBI), and senior Jackson Williams (1 – 2, BB).

The Caps varsity will travel to Sanderson on Monday 3/24/14 and host Holly Springs on Wednesday 3/26/14.  Both games start at 4:30 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 4 – 4; Conference 0 -2)

The Caps junior varsity split a pair of games this week.  They traveled to Millbrook on Friday 3/21/14 where they dropped a tough 4 – 3 decision.  The Wildcats won the game in the bottom of the 7th.  Sophomore Will Baldwin pitched a complete game for the Caps.  The offense was lead by Baldwin and Sherrod McKoy with 2 hits each.  Sam Thompson, John Watters and Warren Grady each contributed a hit.

The junior varsity hosted Leesville Road on Saturday 3/22/14 and took a 3 – 1 victory.  The team defensive effort was solid and error free and Jared Cross pitched a complete game.  Offensive leaders for the game were Elias Kuhns with 1 hit and 1 run; Warren Grady with 1 hit and 1 RBI; John Watters with 1 hit and 2 RBI; and Will Baldwin with 3 BBs and 1 run.

The Caps junior varsity will host Sanderson on Monday 3/24/14.

(JV Record: Overall 3 – 5; Conference 2 – 1)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

The Wake Forest Cougars visited Wiley Warren Field on Friday 3/14/14 and handed the varsity its second extra-inning loss of the season.  The Cougars took advantage of 4 errors by the Caps to steal the 5 – 4 win.  The teams were tied 3 – 3 after 7 innings.  The Cougars scored 2 runs in the top half of the 8th inning.  The Caps scored 1 run in their half of the 8th but were unable to push across the tying run.

“I am proud of the resilience and the fight that we showed late in the game”, commented head coach Harry Jones.  “We got a great effort on the mound from Ben Sawyer today but we couldn’t overcome some sloppy defense.”

The Caps trailed 3 – 1 in the 6th inning but scored twice that inning to tie the score.  Senior Rob Case started the inning with a single, senior Eric Collins followed with a double, and senior Jackson Williams added a long sacrifice fly.  The Caps would strand 8 runners in scoring position during the game, including 4 in the final two innings.

Senior Ben Sawyer scattered 10 hits, issued 1 walk and struck out 2 Cougars in the 8 inning complete game.  Two of the Cougars’ runs were unearned.

Offensive leaders for the game: Ben Sawyer (2 – 4, 2B), Rob Case (2 – 3, BB, 2 Runs), Eric Collins (1 – 4, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 Run), and Jackson Williams (1 – 3, SF, RBI).

The Caps varsity will travel to Leesville Road on Tuesday 3/18/14 and host Millbrook on Friday 3/21/14.  Both games start at 4:30 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 4 – 3; Conference 0 -1)

The Caps junior varsity lost a 9 – 8 home game to Athens Drive on Thursday 3/13/14.  The team rebounded to win 9 – 8 on the road at Wake Forest on Friday 3/14/14.  The team’s season high 9 hits were enough to overcome some shaky defensive play.  Dylan Lamm lead the offense with 2 hits; Jim Woods, John Watters, Duncan Baker and Will Baldwin had RBI’s; and Warren Grady and Elias Kuhns each scored twice.  Will Baldwin was the winning pitcher and Jared Cross recorded the save.

(JV Record: Overall 2 – 4; Conference 1 – 0)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

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The Caps early season offensive surge continued on Wednesday 3/12/14 when the varsity visited Athens Drive.  The Caps turned 7 hits, including a 3-run homerun by senior Eric Collins, and 9 walks into an 8 – 5 victory.  “The offense carried us again”, noted head coach Harry Jones.  “And we needed the big blow by Eric after Athens Drive had rallied.  We had some good innings on the mound and in the field but we need to be more consistent in those areas.”

Sophomore Thomas Walden started and pitched 4 innings for the win.  Senior Jared Feeny pitched 2 innings in relief and senior Rob Case came on in the 7th to close out the win.

The Caps trailed 1 – 0 entering the 5th inning but would send 9 hitters to the plate and score 5 runs in the inning to take control of the contest.  Junior Dom Ford started the inning with a walk and stolen base and scored the first run on a single by senior Ben Sawyer.  After junior John Woods was hit by a pitch, the Caps added runs on a double by Case, a sacrifice fly by senior Ben Eller, a fielder’s choice by senior Jackson Williams, and a double by sophomore Jake Baize.

The Jaguars cut into the Caps’ lead with 3 runs in their half of the 5th inning.  In the 6th inning, Feeny and Case drew 2-out walks before Collins connected on the 3-run homerun to right field.  The homer gave the Caps the cushion they needed to secure the road victory.

The Caps have hit 3 homeruns in their last 2 games.

Offensive leaders for the game: Dom Ford (1 – 2, 3 BB, Run), Ben Sawyer (1 – 4, SF, RBI, Run), Rob Case (2 – 3, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 Runs), Eric Collins (1 – 4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 Runs), Ben Eller (1 – 2, SF, BB, RBI) and Jake Baize (1 – 4, 2B, RBI).

The Caps varsity will host Wake Forest on Friday 3/14/14 at 4:30 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 4 – 2; Conference 0 -0)

The Caps junior varsity home game against Athens Drive was moved to Thursday at 4:30 p.m.  They travel to Wake Forest on Friday.

(JV Record: Overall 1 – 3; Conference 0 – 0)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

After surrendering a 4 run lead in the 7th inning, the Caps varsity recovered to beat the Garner Trojans 7 – 6 in 9 innings.  Playing on the road for only the second time this season, the Caps had to overcome a resilient Garner squad.  “Garner exposed some flaws on which we need to work.  But it was a beautiful day for baseball and it was nice to walk away with a win”, commented head coach Harry Jones.

The Caps’ offense kept the pressure on the Trojans throughout the extra inning contest.  Senior Ben Sawyer got the scoring going in the first inning with a 2-run homerun.  The Caps added runs in the 3rd, 4th and 6th innings.  Senior Rob Case accounted for the score in the 6th with a solo homerun.  Senior Eric Collins started the decisive 9th inning with a single.  Sophomore Thomas Walden contributed a single before Senior John Baldwin plated the go ahead run with a bunt single.

After the Trojans tied the game in their half of the 7th inning, Senior Ben Eller relieved on the mound for the Caps.  Eller pitched two scoreless innings to record his first win of the season.

Multiple players contributed to the Caps offense: Junior Dom Ford (2 – 5, BB, Run), Senior Ben Sawyer (1 – 3, HR, 2BB, 2 RBI, 2 Runs), Senior Rob Case (3 – 4, BB, RBI, 2 Runs), Senior Eric Collins (2 – 5, Run) and Senior John Baldwin (2 – 5, RBI).

Senior Second Baseman Ben Sawyer led the defense with 6 putouts; Senior Third Baseman Rob Case contributed 4 putouts.

Prior to the game, the Caps and Trojans completed their game suspended from Wednesday 3/5/14.  The Trojans scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning to take the 5 – 2 victory.

The Caps varsity will travel to Athens Drive on Wednesday 3/12/14 at 4:30 p.m. and host Wake Forest on Friday 3/14/14 at 4:30 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 3 – 2; Conference 0 -0)

The Caps junior varsity hosted the Trojans on Thursday where they recorded a 9 – 4 victory.  Warren Grady and Jared Cross each pitched 3 innings and Will Baldwin pitched the 7th inning.  The offense was lead by Sherrod McKoy (3 – 4), Dillon Lamb (2 – 4), Duncan Baker (2 – 4) and Will Baldwin (2 – 4).

The Junior Varsity hosts Athens Drive on Wednesday and travels to Wake Forest on Friday.

(JV Record: Overall 1 – 3; Conference 0 – 0)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

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Playing in cold, windy and wet conditions, the Caps varsity topped the Apex Cougars 5 – 3 on Thursday 3/6/14 at Wiley Warren Field.  “We got more good pitching today and a couple of timely hits went a long way in the win.  The guys did a good job battling brutal conditions”, commented head coach Harry Jones after the game.

Senior pitcher Ben Sawyer started on the mound for the Caps and recorded his second complete-game win of the season.  Sawyer scattered 6 hits and surrendered 1 earned run.  Senior centerfielder John Baldwin recorded 7 putouts to lead the defense.

The Caps and Cougars were tied 2 – 2 after 4.5 innings but the Caps scored 3 runs in their home half of the inning to take control of the game.  Senior first baseman Eric Collins started the inning with a double; senior right fielder Jackson Williams, junior shortstop Dom Ford and Sawyer all contributed hits in the decisive inning.  The Cougars would make the outcome uncertain in the top half of the 5th inning as they sent 7 hitters to the plate and scored 1 unearned run.  Baldwin secured the last out and the victory on a long fly ball to centerfield with the bases loaded.

The Caps offense was lead by Collins (1 – 1, 2B, BB, 2 runs), Ford (1 – 3, 2B, run), Williams (1 – 1, HBP), Baldwin (SF, 2 RBI, run), and Sawyer (1 – 3).

The Varsity will host Holly Springs on Friday 3/7/14 at 4:00 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 2 – 1; Conference 0 -0)

The Junior Varsity visited Apex on Thursday where they led 4 -0 after 2 innings when the game was halted due to inclement weather.  Jared Cross got the start on the mound for the Caps.  Warren Grady delivered a 3-run triple and Will Baldwin an RBI single.

The Junior Varsity visits Holly Springs on Friday 3/7/14.

(JV Record: Overall 0 – 3; Conference 0 – 0)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

The Garner Trojans visited Wiley Warren Field on Wednesday 3/5/14 to face the Caps varsity.  In a game controlled by strong pitching, the teams were tied 2 – 2 after 10 innings when the game was suspended due to darkness.  The game will be resumed when the Caps visit Garner on Monday 3/10/14.

“We battled hard to overcome an early deficit and got good pitching to keep us in the game”, remarked head coach Harry Jones.  “We needed to seize on a couple of opportunities to score late in the game.”

The Caps fell behind 2 – 0 after 3 innings but sophomore starter Thomas Walden and senior relievers Jackson Williams and Ben Eller held the Trojans’ hitters in check the remainder of the game.  The Caps rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to tie the score and send the game into extra innings.  Senior John Baldwin delivered the big hit in the inning to plate the tying runs.  The Caps put runners in scoring position in the 8th and 10th innings but were unable to push across the winning run.

The Caps offense was lead by senior Rob Case (3 – 5, 1 run), senior John Baldwin (2 – 2, 2 walks, 1 RBI), and senior Ben Sawyer (2 – 5).

The Varsity will host Apex on Thursday 3/6/14 and Holly Springs on Friday 3/7/14.  Both games start at 4:00 p.m.

(Varsity Record: Overall 1 – 1; Conference 0 -0)

The Junior Varsity team fell 4 – 3 to the Trojans in Garner.  Sophomore pitchers Will Baldwin and Sam Thompson combined on a 3 hitter, freshman Elias Kuhns led the offense with 2 hits, and freshman second baseman Will Gilchrist had a solid defensive effort in the loss.

The Junior Varsity team is on the road for games Thursday and Friday.

(JV Record: Overall 0 – 3; Conference 0 – 0)

(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

Prep coach shares passion


CorrespondentMarch 1, 2014

Harry Jones, Broughton baseball coach

Coaching is a calling.

It became clear to me as a college student that I was called to share my passion for baseball – and the lessons it can teach – with young men of like mind.

I experienced quality leadership and solid direction from the coaches for whom I played and wanted to share those lessons and experience.

The game, of course, is fun. Affecting the growth of young people is unspeakably rewarding. But recreation and development occur on thousands of ball fields at all levels. The real question is why coach, and continue to coach, as a professional at the high school level when the demands are so high and the pay is so low?

The answer? High school athletics are the only remaining venue with the primary purpose of teaching the virtues of athletic competition, and those virtues are more important now than ever before.

There is a great deal of press and hand-wringing about the shortcomings of collegiate and professional athletes. Many of those youngsters are recruited out of settings designed to showcase their skills rather than build their academics or their character.

In North Carolina and Wake County, however, we have both academic and community standards that preclude participation if the student-athletes fall short of those values. Many high school coaches, including me, have expectations that go beyond those required by the state and county.

The school motto at Broughton is “Approve Ye that which is excellent.” That is what we ask of our players, whether it’s learning to throw strikes, complete classroom assignments, or sweep the dugout after practice. We rely on each other to uphold the standard such that the players become accountable to each other.

At Broughton, we want to mold intense competitors and good teammates. The first requires teaching physical effort, fundamental skill development and execution, with a healthy dose of learning how to win and lose with grace. The second requires deferment of gratification and ego, communication and personal responsibility.

All of these qualities make better students, quality employees, good citizens and community leaders. These qualities cannot be measured by standardized tests and are difficult to spotlight in an academic setting. At a time when we tend to associate adolescents with obesity and technological infatuation, teaching these basic traits for success is essential.

Coaches ‘wear many hats’

Make no mistake, coaching is a second full-time, year-round job. Coaches in public schools wear many hats.

As a baseball coach in Wake County for nearly three decades, I am a carpenter, plumber, painter, accountant, mechanic, farmer and chauffeur, all before the first practice is planned or ball is thrown. We maintain our own turf. We provide the labor for capital improvement. We supply and fix many of the tools to do so. Most of us drive our own bus.

My standard question in interviewing assistants is: “How are you with a shovel?”

So why do this? It is not part of the “job description.” But if I require exertion, investment, and adjustment from my players, I need to model those qualities as well. Your children deserve an environment that inspires them to expand their limits.

That part of the job starts with me. It’s a crucial part of seeing that a job is well done. That is the most valuable lesson.

I worry about the future of high school athletics. Students in many sports are siphoned from interscholastic competition by clubs that promise them exposure and, ultimately, scholarships.

The best way to insure that proper perspective in interscholastic athletics is to have a staff member, accountable to the school and the district, as coach. Those individuals, however, are increasingly hard to find.

They begin on a pay scale behind the teachers of forty-five other states. The supervisors of extracurricular activities in Wake County have had only one pay adjustment in over 30 years. Coaches are also paid on different scales; these scales are based more on the amount of money sports make rather than the coaches’ investments of time and heart.

At Broughton, we have coaches who end up earning as little as $1 an hour for their service to our students and school community, and whatever scheme policy makers construct for rewarding the top twenty-five percent of teachers in North Carolina. Driving a team bus or fixing the mower will not qualify.

Can talented and energetic young men and women entering the profession and starting families afford to invest their time and vigor in endeavors that cannot be quantified in an evaluation and will not show up in a pay stub? What will that mean for the education of the child or the development of the school community? I believe we all get cheated.

Athletes fare better

According to research compiled by the National Federation of High School Athletics, students who participate in athletics have better grades and attendance, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline referrals than the general student body. They are less likely to use drugs or become parents.

Athletic programs benefit at-risk students at similar or greater rates than more conventional educational programs. And they are cost-effective, tallying between 1 to 3 percent of a typical high-school budget; athletic teams and booster clubs raise the vast majority of the funds required for our 900 athletic participants. The district allotment for each high school is just shy of $900. That is not sufficient to outfit my team, much less the other 32 varsity or JV squads on Broughton’s fields.

I am proud to have coached 30 teams of fine young men, many of whom have enlisted with the armed forces or gone on to college. Those in the military consistently report that it is the lessons they learned on the playing field that help them succeed in the service.

They tell me it is evident who has and has not had athletic experience by how they function as part of a team and perform under pressures both great and mundane.

Those who go on to college also share the influence athletics had on them. Just before Christmas, a former player, then preparing for his first round of exams, communicated a message straight from our player handbook: “Effort is the bedrock of excellence; I just spent four hours in the library.”

These young men got the message.

That’s why we do it.

The Broughton Varsity team welcomed Middle Creek High School to Wiley Warren Field for their 2014 home opener.  In a complete role reversal from their game on Wednesday, the Caps downed the Mustangs 12 – 2.  “It’s a funny game!  A total flip-flop” commented head coach Harry Jones.  “Our pitching was precise.  We got the good at bats we missed on Wednesday, so we were able to hit the ball hard and score a bunch of runs.  It was a complete effort.”
The Caps took a 2 run lead in the first inning and never trailed in the 6 inning win.  The offense was lead by senior Rob Case (3 – 3, triple, 3 RBI, 2 runs), junior Dom Ford (2 – 4, HR, 3 RBI, 2runs), senior Eric Collins (1 – 3, 2 RBI), senior Ben Eller (1 – 3, 1 RBI), and junior John Woods (3 runs).  Sophomore Jake Baize collected his first Varsity hit and RBI in the bottom of the 6th inning to complete the 10-run rule victory.
The Caps defense, lead by senior Ben Sawyer and senior John Baldwin, was also up to the task in the rematch with the Mustangs.  Sawyer scattered 10 hits and needed only 56 pitches for the complete game win.  Baldwin roamed centerfield to collect 4 putouts.
The Varsity will play three games at Wiley Warren Field next week: Garner on Wednesday; Apex on Thursday; Holly Springs on Friday.  Each game starts at 4:00 p.m.
The JV team lost 6 – 1 in its rematch with the Mustangs.  The Caps got a strong start from sophomore Will Collins, who struck out 5 and surrendered 1 earned run over 3 innings.  Freshman Elias Kuhns had 2 hits and scored the Caps run on a ball hit by sophomore Will Baldwin.
The Junior Varsity team is on the road for 3 games next week.
(Visit the Broughton Baseball Facebook page to see game photos

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