For the first time since the 2014 season, the Beddingfield High varsity baseball team celebrated a 2-A Eastern Plains Conference victory when it launched the 2017 league schedule with a 3-1 conquest of host North Pitt on Monday night.
The Bruins of second-year head coach Noah Edens conquered a North Pitt team that had established itself among the conference’s elite the past few season. The sixth consecutive win vaulted the Bruins to 7-1 overall.
Junior right-handed Beddingfield pitcher Austin Worley outdueled North Pitt right-hander Trey Jernigan and Worley sparked an offense that pushed across a run in each of the first, fourth and sixth innings.
In the top of the first, junior Alston Pittman singled and raced home on Worley’s double. In the fourth, Worley singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on freshman Rio Montes’ double. Two North Pitt errors led to sophomore Mann Farmer’s RBI single in the sixth.
In notching his fourth win without a loss, Worley allowed just four hits and an earned run. He issued one walk and struck out eight.
The Bruins nicked Jernigan for five hits. Two of the runs were earned and Jernigan did not walk a batter and struck out 11 in the quickly played and well-played contest.
“It feels great,” expressed Edens. “We’re excited to get a conference win. The kids were excited. They played well and had a reason to be excited. I think they understand the importance of winning a conference game.”
Worley collected two of Beddingfield’s five hits and Pittman scored twice. Jernigan drove in the Panthers’ run in the bottom of the first.
The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the Beddingfield diamond.
“We need to keep improving, keep at it and get another (conference win) Wednesday,” Edens said.
LEADING HITTERS — Beddingfield: Austin Worley 2-3, 2B, RBI; Alston Pittman 1-3, 2 R; Mann Farmer 1-2, RBI; Rio Montes 1-3, RBI; North Pitt: James Strickland 2-3, Trey Jernigan 1-3, RBI; C.J. Forrest 1-3.
Chargers shut out in region opener
GREENVILLE — A pair of Wilson Christian Academy pitchers combined to allow but two hits and register 14 strikeouts, but the Chargers varsity baseball team was dealt a 2-0 loss by host Greenville Christian in the North Carolina Chrisitan School Association East Region opener for both teams Monday evening.
The Chargers tumbled to 0-4 and face a rematch against Wake County Homeschool at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Cary.
Starting Wilson Christian right-hander Zack Denmark allowed the two hits and two unearned runs in working four innings. Denmark struck out 10. Senior Will Whitley hurled the last two innings, allowing no hits and striking out four.
But Greenville plated a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Chargers’ trouble started Jeff Fisher’s single. Fisher darted home on a two-out error. Cole Dial then singled in an insurance run.
Wilson Christian managed six hits against Greenville pitcher Tyler Conklin, who walked one and struck out six. The Chargers had a base runner thrown out in the plate in the first inning.
Kennedy Herndon batted 2 for 2 for the Chargers, while Max Holland doubled.
Beddingfield slugs North Pitt, 20-1
BETHEL —Honoring the request of the North Pitt High coach to extend the game to five innings, the undefeated Beddingfield High varsity softball team opened 2-A Eastern Plains Conference play by shelling the Lady Panthers, 20-1.
The Lady Bruins, seeking an eighth regular-season championship in as many years affiliated with the conference, hammered North Pitt pitching for a season-high 26 hits and scored 13 runs in the second inning in extending their undefeated start to eight games.
Beddingfield welcomes winless North Pitt in a rematch at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Senior Savannah Pierce slugged her first home run in a 4-for-5 showing and drove in three runs. Junior Cassie Dail also batted 4 for 5, tripled twice and drove in six runs. Junior Chloe Radford and freshman Anna Gardner each wound up 3 for 4. Radford doubled and drove in three runs. Sophomore Karissa Hayes finished 3 for 3 with a triple, double and an RBI.
Junior Savannah Barberio, the third Beddingfield pitcher, was designated the winner. Junior Brianna Hales started and tossed the first inning. Radford pitched the second and third innings. The trio combined for 10 strikeouts and allowed one hit.
TARBORO — Again with a juggled lineup, the Fike High boys tennis team ventured outside the 3-A Big East Conference and notched a 7-2 victory against host Tarboro on the 1-A Two Rivers Conference on Monday.
The Golden Demons hiked their record to 5-1 and return to conference play to host Rocky Mount in a showdown for the conference lead Tuesday.
Jack Boyette, at No. 5, and Justin Bass, at No. 6, were granted singles opportunities and responded with victories. Boyette’s opponent defaulted in the second set and Bass prevailed 6-0, 6-1.
Fike also got singles wins from Thomas Hodges at No. 1 and A.J. Gunter at No. 3.
The Demons swept the doubles with Hodges-Michael Anders ruling at No. 1; Conner Hale-Gunter pitching a shutout at No. 2; and Bass-Max Fogleman giving up just one game at No. 3.
“The lineup got shuffled some today,” commented Fike coach Lee Matthews, “but this was a solid win with everybody out of position. Jack and Justin stepped in and picked up two important wins in singles.”
FIKE 7, TARBORO 2
Thomas Hodges (F) def. Shaun Clark 6-0, 6-0; R.B. Armstrong (T) def. Conner Hale 3-6, 6-4, (10-7); A.J. Gunter (F) def. Andy Ajanel 6-0, 6-0; Sam Edmonds (T) def. Bratton Parker 6-2, 6-0; Jack Boyette (F) def. Shane Keel 7-6 (7-4), default; Justin Bass (F) def. Bryon Hall 6-0, 6-1.
Hodges-Michael Anders (F) def. Clark-Ajanel 8-0; Hale-Gunter (F) def. Armstrong-Edmonds 8-0; Bass-Max Fogleman (F) def. Jose Garcia-Blake Hart 8-1.
Warriors trimmed by C.B. Aycock, 5-4
PIKEVILLE — An 8-2 conquest by the No. 2 doubles team of Matthew Hare-Austin Doyle clinched the Charles B. Aycock High boys tennis team’s 5-4 nonconference victory against visiting Hunt High of the 3-A Big East Conference on Monday.
The Warriors, trailing 4-2 after singles, got an 8-6 win from its No. 1 doubles team of junior David Joyner-senior Taylor Braswell to keep its team hopes alive.
However, Hare-Doyle prevailed before the No. 3 doubles match was completed. Hunt won the doubles finale with sophomore Zac Taylor-junior Josh Edwards winning 8-2.
Triumphant in singles for Hunt were Joyner at No. 1 and Edwards at No. 6.
The Golden Falcons, 3-A members of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference, forged a 4-2 margin with singles wins from Nolan Casey at No. 2, Jonas Creel at No. 3, Brady Lovoie at No. 4 and Doyle at No. 5.
“It was so close,” commented first-year Hunt coach Debbie Bass. “We look forward to playing them again (Wednesday at Hunt).”
Hunt’s record dipped to 1-5.
C.B. AYCOCK 5, HUNT 4
David Joyner (H) def. Matthew Hare 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; Nolan Casey (CBA) def. Zac Taylor 6-2, 6-0; Jonas Creel (CBA) def. Taylor Braswell 6-0, 6-3; Brady Lovoie (CBA) def. Jae Jin Lee 6-2, 6-4; Austin Doyle (CBA) def. Matthew Prassoulk 6-4, 6-0; Josh Edwards (H) def. Keenen Smith 6-3, 6-0.
STANHOPE — With a pair of doubles wins, the Southern Nash High boys tennis team eked out a 5-4 nonconference win against visiting North Johnston of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference on Monday.
Triumphing in doubles for the Firebirds of the 3-A Big East Conference were Seth Whitley-Austin Bissette and Zach Perry-Parker Strickland.
Southern Nash salvaged a singles split with the Panthers with wins from Whitley, Rolando Valladarez and Strickland.
Wilson Christian thumps Greenville
GREENVILLE — The undefeated Wilson Christian Academy varsity girls soccer team kicked off North Carolina Christian School Association East Region competition with a 9-1 road romp against Greenville Christian on Monday.
The Lady Chargers constructed a 5-0 halftime margin en route to their third win against no losses and one tie. Wilson Christian is scheduled to visit DASH United Homeschool in Clayton at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Wilson Christian cranked 43 shots with junior Anna Grace Abrams drilling in four goals.
Eighth-grader Kendall Harris knocked in a pair of goals, while eighth-grader Lea Gossett, sophomore Sydney Strother and sophomore Ashley Hardy netted one each.
Gossett also recorded three assists, while senior Nicole Joyner was credited with a pair. Sophomore Caitlyn Barnes also had an assist.
Greenville Christian managed two shots and a second-half goal. Senior Lady Chargers goalkeeper Kimberly Lamm recorded one save in the first half. Sophomore Skylar Pone was stationed in goal the second half and did not have a save.
Fike edged by D.H. Conley 3-2
A rugged nonconference schedule continued to show little mercy on the Fike High varsity girls soccer team that dropped a 3-2 decision to visiting 4-A D.H. Conley of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference on Monday evening.
The outcome left the Lady Golden Demons of the 3-A Big East Conference with a 3-3-2 mark going into Tuesday evening’s conference opener at Southern Nash.
Fike owned a 2-1 lead, only to see the Lady Vikings score the final two goals. The clincher came on a breakaway from some 16 yards out. Only the final goal was netted in the second half.
After Conley claimed a 1-0 lead, Fike answered with its two goals.
The Lady Demons drew even when Caroline Keeter fielded a quick pass from Camille Brooks and finished with just under 10 minutes elapsed.
Some nine minutes later, Emilee Futrell’s shot deflected off the Conley goalkeeper and Mattie Richardson was on the spot to boot the ball into the top left corner.
Conley knocked in the decisive goal with slightly over 13 minutes remaining.
The Lady Vikings posted a 13-6 margin in shots.
“I think everyone is frustrated at this point,” commented Fike head coach Toni Varacchi. “We have been in every game we have played, but just can’t seem to finish a game. Our nonconference schedule will help us later in the season.”