NPC 3A-4A BASEBALL: Cougars knock off league-leading Lake Norman

TAYLORSVILLE – Tyler Campbell drove in two runs, and Alexander Central High’s pitching stood tall on Tuesday night as the Cougars nipped visiting Lake Norman 3-2, knocking the Wildcats out of their perch alone atop the North Piedmont 3A-4A baseball standings.

Campbell had one of the Cougars’ six hits and Justin Cook added an RBI and picked up a pitching save as Alexander Central improved to 11-6 overall and 8-3 in the conference.

As conference play began on Tuesday, Lake Norman was the league-leader at 9-1 with South Iredell next at 8-2 and Alexander Central and Mooresville tied for third place at 7-3.

Trae Starnes, Kyler Fairchild, Matt Wilkinson and Cook, batting No. 1 through No. 4 for the Cougars, each had a hit and Campbell and Rhyne Johnson each added a hit for Alexander Central.

For Lake Norman (13-3, 9-2), Isaiah Nino had two hits and Sam Zayicek, Cole Ladowski and Anthony Palma each had one. Zayicek and Dylan Rings had RBIs for the Wildcats, who trailed 3-0 until scoring twice in the top of the seventh inning.

Starnes grabbed the win, throwing 6 2/3 innings for the Cougars. He gave up four hits, two runs (both earned) with three walks and nine strikeouts. Johnson relieved him and then gave way to Cook, who got the final out.

Lake Norman starter Alex Pfeil took the loss, going 3 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits, three runs (all earned) with two walks and two strikeouts. Relievers Cole Robbins and Zayiceck did not allow a hit over the final 2 1/3 innings.

The Wildcats defeated the Cougars 5-4 at Lake Norman earlier in the season.

Alexander Central plays a non-league game at Davie County on Wednesday and plays a conference game on the road Thursday at 7 p.m. against Mooresville, while Lake Norman will be on the road the same night to face North Iredell with a 7 p.m. start.

–Reported by Alexander Central’s Jonathan Watts


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