HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: St. Stephens surprises top-seeded W. Lincoln in Classic, faces Hickory next (story corrected)

Published Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Corrections: This story has been updated to correct the following — St. Stephens had lost seven straight one-run games, not six as the story originally said, and the Indians’ one-run game against West Lincoln was  their ninth of the season (not eighth). Also corrected was the list of opponents that beat St. Stephens by one-run after a 2-1 victory over McDowell. HobbsDailyReport.com corrects all mistakes in posts when brought to attention of the website editor and regrets the errors.


After having lost their last seven one-run games this season, St. Stephens High’s seventh-seeded Indians gutted out a 3-2 upset of top-seeded West Lincoln on Tuesday in the Catawba Valley Easter Classic.

The Indians (7-14) — sparked by JD Everett’s pitching — advance to a Tuesday semifinal against sixth-seeded Hickory at 4 p.m.

West Lincoln (15-6) had a five-game win streak snapped and plays No. 8 Newton-Conover in a consolation bracket game on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

All tournament games are being played at Henkel-Alley Field at the Fairgrounds in Newton.

Everett, a junior left-hander, struck out seven over 6 2/3 innings.

St. Stephens led 3-1 after the Rebels made two errors in the third inning. Jake Speaks drove in a run with a groundball out, Chance Benfield had an RBI and Eli Walsh’s run-scoring double gave the Indians a two-run lead.

St. Stephens won after West Lincoln got within 3-2 on a hit by Bobby Beam in the seventh inning.

The Indians lifted Everett and Justin Peisell got the game’s final out.

St. Stephens played in its ninth game this year that was decided by a run. The Indians nipped McDowell 2-1 on March 5 before falling by a run against Bunker Hill, Freedom, Watauga, McDowell, Hickory, Crest and South Caldwell.

The Indians will face the archrival Red Tornadoes for the third time this season. The teams have split with St. Stephens winning 13-3 in five innings at home on March 7 and the Red Tornadoes winning 4-3 at home on April 2.

No. 6 Hickory 11, No. 3 Hibriten 7

The defending champion Red Tornadoes (11-8) had a five-run sixth inning, advancing to meet St. Stephens in a semifinal on Tuesday.

Grayson Lineberger’s two-run single helped Hickory open a 4-0 lead, and the Panthers scored three runs in the fifth inning to get within a run.

Luke Absher was 3-for-4 in the loss and took a pitching loss after he went four innings, giving up four runs (all earned) with four walks and six strikeouts. He relieved starter Garrett Hamby.
The Red Tornadoes are 3-3 since they had a five-game win streak halted by a one-run loss at South Caldwell.

No. 1 Fred T. Foard 9, No. 8 Newton-Conover 3

The Tigers (14-2) ran their win streak to 11 by wiping out an early 2-0 lead by the Red Devils (2-18), whose losing streak reached five games.

Jeremiah Wike had a triple and drove in two runs, Clay Patterson and Hayden Lail each had two hits and Lail drove in a run for Foard.

Newton-Conover got two first-inning runs, chasing Foard starter Cale Peschel, and Dakota London was overpowering the rest of the way for the Tigers.

London had seven straight strikeouts at one point and finished with 14. He gave up two hits and walked six.

Foard has scored nine or more runs in nine games this season and meets No. 4 Alexander Central in a semifinal on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The Red Devils, who have scored five runs in their last five games and been shutout three times, battle top-seeded West Lincoln in a consolation game on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

No. 4 Alexander Central 8, No. 5 Bunker Hill 0

Left-hander Maddox Kerley shut the Bears (10-7) down, snapping their three-game win streak, by striking out 14 over 6 1/3 innings.

After getting a runner on in the first inning, Bunker Hill did not get another past first again until the seventh inning.

Kerley punched out the Bears on Ks for 12 of their first 15 outs.

Alexander Central had just four hits as it ran its win streak to four games and won for the seventh time in eight games.

Thaxton Isenhour took the pitching loss for Bunker Hill, which was shutout for the third time this season.

Kerley walked one and hit three batters.

The Cougars face top-seeded Fred T. Foard in a semifinal on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. while the Bears will play No. 2 seed Hibriten in a consolation game on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.


(at Patton High)

West Caldwell 12, Patton 0, 5 inn.

The Warriors (5-14) snapped a eight-game losing streak by scoring nine runs in the first inning when they sent 15 batters to the plate to win the tournament’s final first round game.

Cy Smith hit a home run for West Caldwell, which had not won since beating West Wilkes on the road on March 25.

The Warriors face Bandys in a semifinal on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Patton, which had won four straight games, fell to 9-11 and is idle until the Northwestern Foothills 2A tournament on April 30.

Chase 7, Freedom 5

The Trojans ran up a 7-1 lead in the tournament’s opening game before the Patriots (12-9) rallied to get within 7-5 at one point.

An error scored two runs for Freedom in the second inning and the Patriots were within 7-4 after a wild pitch scored a run.

Lyle Holland, who had two hits, drove in a run to make it 7-5.

Chase (13-5) faces R-S Central in a semifinal on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. while Freedom plays East Burke on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in a consolation bracket game.

Freedom fell to 4-1 in games decided by two or fewer runs this season.

Bandys 16, Draughn 6, 5 inn.

The Trojans wiped out an early deficit to advance to a semifinal on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against West Caldwell.

Draughn (3-17) led 3-2 early and, after Bandys went up 4-3, again by 6-4 through two innings.’

The Trojans broke it open with seven runs in the third and added four in the fourth and another in the fifth to run-rule the Wildcats.

Bandys (12-6) limited Draughn to six hits – two by Marshall Byrd, who drove in two runs, and Colton Singleton drove in two runs.

Spencer Ledford pitched for the Trojans.

Logan Hooks took the loss after going 2 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, eight runs (five earned) with two walks and no strikeouts.

Mason Mozeley pitched in relief for Draughn, allowing three runs (all earned) and walking four and Isaac Walker went two innings, giving up seven hits, five runs (four earned).

Draughn, after suffering its 11th loss of the year by 10 or more runs, plays Patton in a consolation bracket game on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

R-S Central 13, East Burke 8

The Hilltoppers (14-5) ran their win streak to five games, handing the Cavs (1-18) their 11th straight loss in a first-round game.

Austin Teague doubled in Emery Propst in the fourth inning for East Burke and Chase Lowman had three RBIs, including two on a double in the seventh inning.

The Hilltoppers battle Chase in a semifinal on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and East Burke will face Freedom – the last team it beat – in a consolation game at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.


Lake Norman Charter 13, Lincolnton 3

The Knights (11-11, 7-7) won a South Fork 2A game on the road to finish in fifth place.

Matt Larrsen and Jared Ryan combined to one-hit the last-place Wolves (1-15, 1-13), and Lake Norman Charter jumped to a 4-0 lead.

After the Wolves got within 5-3, the Knights scored five runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh inning.

Drew Gugino went 3-for-5 with one RBI and Peter Alperi drove in two runs to spark the Knights.

Nick Clark and Max Doherty each had two hits and an RBI and Jake Monti added two hits for Lake Norman Charter.

Seven Diggers had the only hit for Lincolnton, which lost its 12th straight game.

E.J. Manjarres, one of five pitchers used by the Wolves, took the loss. He gave up four hits, four runs (all earned) with two walks in one inning.
Both teams are idle until April 30 when the South Fork 2A tournament opens.

Lincolnton’s first-round game is at No. 1 seed West Lincoln at 7 p.m. and No. 5 Lake Norman Charter has a 7 p.m. game at No. 4 Bandys.

Fayetteville Sanford 3, South Caldwell 0

Davidjohn Hertz and Justin Ebert combined on a no-hitter as Sanford blanked the Spartans (17-4) in a semifinal at the Bulldog Easter Invitational at Sanford.

South Caldwell faces Pittsboro Northwood for third place on Tuesday at 4 p.m., and Sanford (17-3) meets Pinecrest (17-3) for the title.

Isaac Bush went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one earned run and striking out seven, and took the loss for the Spartans.

South Caldwell made five errors.

Jackson Deaver had two hits to lead Sanford.

West Brunswick 8, Maiden 7

West Brunswick scored two runs in its final at-bat to nip the Blue Devils (9-8), who lost for the fifth time in six games.

Maiden led 3-1 until West Brunswick scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning to gain a lead.

West Brunswick was up 6-3 until the seventh, when the Blue Devils scored four runs to lead 7-6.

Hunter Nicoli went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Dylan Jeffries had a triple among his two hits and Brandon Aycock had two hits for West Brunswick.

Tanner Babson allowed four hits in one inning, gaining a win after allowing four hits, four runs (none earned) for West Brunswick.

No game details or the Tuesday opponent for Maiden in the Beach Diamond Invitational were not available.

East Lincoln 4, St. Joseph’s Collegiate 1

The Mustangs (8-10) snapped a two-game skid by winning their first game in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

East Lincoln scored two runs in the first inning and two in the third inning and finished with six hits.

St. Joseph’s, from Buffalo, N.Y., had two hits.

East Lincoln plays Elyria (Ohio) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

West Rowan 11, West Iredell 0

The Falcons had a seven-run second inning en route to a shutout win over the Warriors at the East Rowan Tournament.

Junior left-hander Cullen Davis scattered six hits and picked up a win for West Rowan.

West Iredell (6-14), losing its fourth straight game, had six hits but made three errors.

The Warriors play Forest Hills at 10 a.m. on Tuesday for seventh place.

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