First Posted: 1/15/2009
ROWLAND - It would have been understandable if Jeff Quick were a little frustrated as he jogged to first base following his second straight intentional walk.
That wasn't the case, however.
“Nah, it didn't bother me,” the South Robeson senior said. “It's not the first time that's happened.”
Considering that he gave the opposition good reason to issue him the free passes, he was probably expecting it.
Quick crushed a first-inning home run for the second straight game and put together another dominant performance on the mound to help lead the Mustangs to a 6-2 win over North Johnston (13-10) in the second round of the 1-A state baseball playoffs on Tuesday.
With the win, the Mustangs (17-7) advance to the third round on Friday where they will travel to Topsail, the top seed from the Coastal Plains Conference.
“We're just real loose right now,” Mustangs coach Jerome Hunt said. “Everybody's excited and just out there having fun.”
Quick gave the Mustangs the early lead with a three-run blast in the first off of Panthers starter Justin Keene.
“I guess that built up the whole team,” Quick said. “Everybody came out ready to play.”
That was especially the case at the plate for the Mustangs, who had eight different batters record a hit.
Jordan Hunt, who bats ahead of Quick in the lineup, went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a double. Leadoff hitter John Hunt reached base twice while going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
“I've just been trying to get on base for him, because if I reach, nine times out of 10 he'll score me,” Jordan Hunt said of Quick. “And if we can get the leadoff man on, me and (Quick) will drive him in.”
Kyle Oxendine brought in the Mustangs' final run when he connected on his first career home run, a solo shot in the fifth.
“It's not the same people getting the job done for us every night,” Jerome Hunt said. “When the top two or three batters aren't getting it done, it's good to have other guys that can get it done. That's what makes you tough.”
Quick (10-3) went all seven innings and struck out 12. He gave up just one earned run - a solo homer by Clif Holloman - and only four hits.
“He was like a machine out there,” Jerome Hunt said. “Batters were stepping out of the box in the middle of his delivery to try and slow him down, but he was just like a machine.”
The Mustangs had plenty of support from the home fans. Each of the three sets of bleachers was filled and spectators lined the fence along the foul lines. There were even people watching from beyond the center field fence.
“Before, we might have 10 people at the game, but now everybody's at the game and everybody's talking to us in the hallways (at school) about baseball,” Jordan Hunt said. “It hadn't been like that here in a while.
“It feels real good to be the first team at South Robeson to win a conference championship, all of this is just icing on the cake. But this has been our goal all season long, to make it to this point.”