WILSON, N.C. — The pitching performance of the 2010 Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament was turned in Friday night, but not from the player most people expected. Although the league’s pitcher of the year, Erskine’s William Buzhardt, was a starter in the contest, it was Pfeiffer University’s John McDaniel who turned in a dominant outing, holding the nation’s second-best scoring team to just three runs on six hits while striking out 16 in a 6-3 victory over the Flying Fleet. Pfeiffer faces the winner of the Anderson/Erskine elimination game at 7:00 p.m. Friday night.
The Pfeiffer offense, meanwhile, chased Buzhardt (11-2) after just two-thirds of an inning, batting around and erupting for five runs on seven hits. The Falcons led off the inning with three consecutive singles, scored one run on a double play ball, then put together four more hits in a row, the last three of them doubles.
From there, the Falcons simply rode the arm of McDaniel (5-5), who was nearly untouchable. The junior right-hander from Mocksville, N.C., gave up just one hit in the game’s first six innings, and struck out 12 over that span. Erskine scored single runs in each of the final three innings, but it was too little, too late.
McDaniel’s effort helped Pfeiffer (26-25), the No. 4 seed, advance to Saturday as the lone unbeaten team left in the tourney field. Erskine (37-13) will play an 11 a.m. elimination game with Anderson, and the winner of that contest will face Pfeiffer at 7 p.m.
Josh Strickland and Aarin Sharpe each had three hits to pace the Falcons offensively, while Zack Pou added a pair of hits and Jesse Dunn drove in a pair. Zach McCarty had two of the Fleet’s six hits, including his seventh home run of the year in the ninth inning.