STANLY BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: West, South advance to second-round

Published 4:49 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

In NCHSAA high school baseball first-round state playoff games Tuesday night, three teams played at home as four of the county’s five programs had qualified for the postseason.

2A West
West Stanly 14, West Lincoln 0

The Colts, winners of the Rocky River Conference regular-season and tourney titles, earned the No. 5 seed in the 2A West and hosted the No. 28 seeded Rebels.

West scored 10 runs in the first two innings on the way to a five-inning win to advance to the second round for the first time since the 2019 season.

The Colts had five extra base hits in the game, including a pair of Carson Morton home runs. Morton drove in five runs, while Camden Wimbish was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Brendan Fulcher and Connor Lindsey each added doubles.

Jesse Boone drove in two runs for the Colts, with Lindsey, Wimbish and Jeffery Forrest each adding an RBI. West totaled 11 hits in the game.

Morton also earned the win on the mound for West (23-3), allowing one hit in three innings of work with a walk and five strikeouts. Jordon Hart pitched two scoreless innings of relief with one strikeout.

West Stanly hosts No. 12 East Rutherford (21-3) Friday night. The Cavaliers advanced to the second round with a 9-1 home win over No. 21 West Wilkes.

Shelby 1, North Stanly 0

The Comets, champions of the Yadkin Valley Conference regular season, entered the postseason as the No. 10 seed, hosting the No. 23 seeded Golden Lions.

North claimed the regular-season title in the YVC for the second straight season, but lost 1-0 to Shelby in the opening round.

The Comets’ Cole Smith was 6-0 on the mound in conference play for North this year, finishing with an 0.93 earned-run average.

Freshman Charlie Shaver led North this season hitting .360, while Trey Gibson hit .354 and had seven home runs this season for the Comets.

North had two seniors who graduate from this year’s team: Brody Conner and Junior Hill. Head coach Scott Clemons said both players were “key contributors with both hitting nearly .300 and swiping 15 bags apiece… their leadership on and off the field will be greatly missed.”

1A West
South Stanly 1, Swain County 0

South Stanly, riding the momentum of reaching the finals of the YVC tournament, entered the state playoffs as the No. 16 seed, hosting No. 17 Swain County.

The Bulls pushed across one run, the only run of the game, and advanced to the second round for the first time since the 2019 season.

Freshman Carter Callicutt tripled and scored on a Braylon Tyson RBI single in the bottom of the second.

Cayman Buck earned the win on the mound for South (13-11), going 6.2 innings and allowing just one hit. Buck walked six and struck out seven batters.

Sophomore John Crump earned the save in the bottom of the seventh getting a strikeout to preserve the win over the Maroon Devils (10-10).

“(We were) very fortunate to win a close game to move on,” South Stanly head coach Terry Tucker said.

The Bulls go on the road Friday night to face what Tucker said was “a very tough number-one seed” in the Cherryville Ironmen (22-4). The Ironmen advanced to the second round with a 6-1 win over No. 32 Mountain Island Charter.

Corvian Community 10, Gray Stone 7

The Knights (7-13), the No. 23 seed in the Western Region, led big early but the No. 10 seeded Cardinals (14-7) scored 10 unanswered runs en route to the win.

Gray Stone scored seven runs in the top of the third inning, but the Cardinals scored two in the third, four in the fourth and a single run in fifth to tie the game. Corvian then took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth with three runs, ending the Knights’ season.

The Knights have qualified for the state playoffs for the past two seasons.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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