The Tarboro River Bandits blew the lid off their season opener Monday night, taking an 11-2 win on the road against the Fuquay-Varina Twins.
The Bandits pounded out 12 hits while five Tarboro pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter against virtually the same team that led the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League in hitting a year ago.
If there was a soft spot in the Bandits game, it came in the form of three errors.
Coach Vince Fondacaro started right-hander Zach Mallia (UNC Greenboro) and got two innings and four strikeouts from him before bringing in right-hander Russell Derbyshire (Mineral Area College).
Derbyshire also pitched two innings and recorded four strikeouts and was lifted in favor of Julian Parson (USC-Upstate) in the fifth. Ben Roberts, Coley Kilpatrick (Brunswick CC), and Eli Culbreth (Gardner-Webb) finished the game for the Bandits.
Tarboro jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first, then added another run in the second when third baseman Jack Culumovic (Tennessee-Martin) doubled, then took third and was driven home by first baseman Andrew Casey (Dayton).
Fuquay-Varina ace Xander Hamilton (Virginia Tech) was able to strand Casey and get out of the inning, but the damage was done.
The River Bandits added three runs in the fifth as they chased Hamilton, then put up three more runs in the sixth inning.
In the fifth, Zach Millia, who pitched the first two innings, got a one-out single then, after a strikeout, second baseman Will Smith (Tennessee-Martin) singled to right and Mallia took third.
Culumovic then reached on a two-base error by the left fielder that allowed both Mallia and Smith to cross the plate and make the score 4-0, and Hamilton was pulled.
Walks to catcher Ethan Fewell (Winthrop) and pinch hitter Peter Consentino (Montclair State) loaded the bases, and a third walk in the inning to Casey scored Culumovic before the Twins could get out of the inning.
Right-hander Julian Parson (USC-Upstate) took the mound in the fifth for Tarboro and kept the shutout intact before the River Bandits added two more runs in the top half of the sixth.
Baseball J.H. Rose, 1, South Central 0
Jayden Grimes singled home the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Rampants their third straight win on Tuesday night.
Mitch Jones doubled to start the sequence and Cole Watkins was intentionally walked.
South Central (8-2, 7-2) threatened in the seventh but could not plate the tying run to extend an eight-game win streak.
Farmville Central 5, North Pitt 2
The Jauars, who lost twice to the Panthers last week, dealt their county rivals their first loss of the season on Tuesday night.
North Pitt is right back on the field today against Gates County.
Greene Central 4, Ayden-Grifton 2
The Rams jumped to 6-3 on the season with a victory over struggling Ayden-Grifton on Tuesday night.
The teams play again on Thursday.
SouthWest Edgecombe, Voyager Academy at North Pitt, 5:30 p.m.
First Flight at D.H. Conley, 5 p.m.