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ROCKY MOUNT — The opening day of play at the 2019 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A East boys tennis regional left zero combatants from The Wilson Times readership area standing, which means that the area will not send a representative to next week’s state championships at Burlington Tennis Center.
In singles play contested on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College, Fike’s Cole Peterson, the Big East singles champion, pushed his way into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ryan Nguyen from Northside Jacksonville. However, Peterson ran up against No. 3 seed Dylan March from Eastern Wayne in the quarterfinals, where Peterson was handed a 6-2, 6-0 setback.
In the opening round, James Rodriguez of Charles B. Aycock was defeated by No. 4 seed Ben Jones of Clayton, 6-0, 6-3.
All four seeds held into the semifinals in singles, with Clayton’s Banks Evans, the top seed, set to face March. In the other semifinal, Jones will oppose No. 2 seed Jim Davis of West Carteret.
In doubles play, both Southern Nash entrants were eliminated in the opening round. The CBA tandem of Jonas Creel-Nolan Casey defeated Southern Nash’s Parker Strickland-Dylan Alligood 6-1, 6-3, while the other Firebirds pair, Hector Perez-Adolfo Gonzalez, was turned aside 6-2, 6-1 by the Greenville Rose pair of Landon Brown-Owen Osborne.
Sitting one match from a state tournament berth, Creel-Casey were turned aside 6-1, 6-1 by the No. 4 seed from Rocky Mount in Sam Phillips-Landon Norwood.
All four doubles seeds survived to the second day, with Wilmington New Hanover’s top seed of Westley-Gaines-Griffith Warren taking on Phillips-Norwood in one semifinal. No. 2 seed Sam Jones-Foster Evans of Clayton will battle New Hanover’s Holland Baynard-Alan Dimock in the other semi.
Chargers blank Bethel in first round
Behind the strength of a two-hitter from senior right-hander Zack Denmark, the Wilson Christian varsity baseball team opened up defense of its North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A championship in the postseason Friday night with a 7-0 win over Kinston Bethel Christian.
Wilson Christian, the No. 1 seed from the East, improved to 15-3 and will play Greensboro Vandalia Christian, the No. 4 seed from the West on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Turnage Athletic Complex.
Denmark worked five innings and struck out two without allowing a walk. The Chargers posted three runs in the second and followed it up with two more in each of the fourth and sixth innings.
Junior Max Holland was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI, while senior Adrian DeHart went 2 for 2 with a double, triple and a pair of runs batted in.
Cooper Emory had all three hits for Bethel Christian (3-9), going 3 for 3 with a double. Easton Truett was tagged with the loss for the Trojans.
Score by innings:
Bethel Chr. 000 000 0 — 0
Wilson Chr. 030 202 0 — 7
WP-Zach Denmark 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. LP-Easton Truett 6 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO
LEADING HITTERS —Wilson Christian: Max Holland 3-4, 2B, RBI, Adrian DeHart 2-2, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, Will Shearin 1-2, 2B; Bethel Christian: Cooper Emory 3-3, 2B.
NJ wins share of EPC regular season
KENLY — The North Johnston High varsity baseball team clinched a share of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship with a 4-0 win against North Pitt on Thursday night.
The Panthers (20-2, 9-1 EPC) shared the title with Nash Central, and lost a tiebreaker at Beddingfield against Nash Central on Friday for the EPC’s No. 1 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.
A three-run third inning was the main source of offense as Austin Lee, Seth Coates and Ty Narron hit three straight singles to load the bases. Dylan Pitts took a walk to score Lee. Llmar Ramirez laced a two-run single to plate Coates and Narron.
Pitts earned the mound win for the Panthers after going 5 1/3 innings, allowing one hit, no runs and five walks with seven strikeouts.
Pitts is now 8-1. Coates earned the save in 1 1/3 innings of work allowing no hits, a walk and no runs while striking out one.
Score by innings:
North Pitt 000 000 0 — 0
North Johnston 003 001 x — 4
WP-Dylan Pitts (8-1) 5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO. S- Seth Coates 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — North Johnston: Dylan Pitts 1-2, RBI, Llmar Ramirez 1-3, 2 RBIs.
Lady Panthers wrap up perfect EPC run
KENLY — The North Johnston High varsity softball team finished off its second straight undefeated 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship with a 15-0 win over North Pitt on Thursday’s Senior Night.
Seniors Amberlynn Pearce and Jordyn Scott led the way offensively with a home run each. Pearce finished 2-for-3 with three runs batted in. Scott finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
Senior Lindsey Massengill 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Blayke Batten also finished 1-for-3 with a triple.
The Lady Panthers, now 17-4, await their path in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association postseason. North Johnston has now won 24 straight EPC games, dating back to a 3-1 loss to former conference foe Washington on April 26, 2017.
Also honored on Senior Night were Hannah Wall, Lindsey Massengill and Olivia Gachuz.
Score by innings:
North Pitt 000 — 0
North Johnston 843 — 15
LEADING HITTERS — North Johnston: Amberlynn Pearce 2-3, HR, 3 RBIs, Jordyn Scott 2-3, HR, 4 RBIs, Lindsey Massengill 2-3, RBI, Blayke Batten 1-3, 3B.
Lady Chargers handed 2 defeats
RALEIGH — The Wilson Christian girls soccer team was tagged with two defeats on consecutive days, dropping a 5-0 contest at Raleigh Friendship Christian on Friday after losing a 1-0 decision at Raleigh Saint Mary’s.
Against Friendship, Wilson Christian (3-9) picked up four saves from Melia Hughes. Hughes generated six saves against Saint Mary’s, with Brianna Little and Chloe Villaverde producing several unsuccessful shots on frame.
The Lady Chargers visit Fuquay-Varina Hilltop Christian on Monday.