Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
North Johnston High, Rosewood, Rocky Mount and Faith Christian of Rocky Mount are joined by Fike and West Johnston as the undefeated (2-0) teams in the 17-team Golden Leaf Invitational field after two of the three days of competition.
Those six teams will be the ones with a shot at the championship in Tuesday’s final session in Fleming Stadium and on the Fike, Hunt and Farmville Central diamonds.
Neither of the six will be paired in their final tournament appearance.
In Monday’s action, North Johnston edged Eastern Christian Homeschool, 4-3; 1-A Rosewood demolished East Wake, 23-1 in five innings; Faith Christian blanked Northern Nash, 15-0; Rocky Mount triumphed 8-4 against host Farmville Central; Fike fought off Jamestown Ragsdale, 5-3; and West Johnston blanked Hunt, 2-0.
Other scores: Freedom Christian of Fayetteville 11, South Granville 9; Cardinal Gibbons 3, Nash Central 0; and Charles B. Aycock 6, Rocky Mount Academy 5.
Trailing 4-0 on the Farmville Central diamond, Rocky Mount (16-5) of the 3-A Big East Conference pushed across a run in the fifth and exploded for seven in the sixth.
Victor Ward triggered the Gryphons’ offense with a 3-for-4 showing, driving in two runs. Rocky Mount managed six hits.
Senior Gates Harrell pitched three hitless, scoreless innings of relief to record the win of starter Austin Luttrell, a senior. Harrell did not issue a walk and struck out a pair.
Faith Christian dispensed with Northern Nash of the 3-A Big East Conference with seven-run outbursts in each of the first two innings.
The Patriots of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 2-A ranks hiked their record to 13-3.
The 12-hit assault was sparked by two hits each from sophomore Brayden Leonard, junior Andrew Lewis, junior Hobart Brantley, senior Trysten Edwards and senior Chase Johnson. Johnson tripled and drove in four runs and Brantley supplied three RBIs. Leonard, Lewis and senior Garrett Pannell each drove in two runs. Senior Noah Calhoun scored three runs.
Patriots pitchers Robert Turner, Landon Lewis and Zach Warrick combined for a four-hit shutout with two walks and three strikeouts.
Junior Chris Petryk batted 2 for 2 for the Knights, while sophomore Tyler Garner and senior Aaron Gerlach each finished 1 for 2.
BATTEN FIRES NJ TO WIN
North Johnston held Eastern Christian Home School scoreless for the final three innings to clinch its third straight win and second of the Golden Leaf Invitational at Fike High on Monday.
The Panthers (18-1) of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference got a clutch pitching performance from Tucker Batten, who came in the fifth inning to get the six-out save in the 4-3 win. Batten came in relief for starter Avery Pearce, who got the win after going five innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs and eight walks. North Johnston head coach Brian Ford said Pearce didn’t have his best command but managed to strike out 11 batters.
Pearce also was 2 for 4 at the plate with a two-run double in the second inning that helped North Johnston take an early lead. Dylan Pitts’ triple in the third inning drove in the fourth run that gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead over the Trailbazers (13-4), who are based in Washington and play their home games in Chocowinity.
The Panthers have one more game in the Golden Leaf Invitational at Hunt High versus the Warriors at 11 a.m. The Trailblazers will play Rosewood at Fike High at 11:30 a.m.
Score by innings:
North Johnston 031 000 0 — 4
Eastern Christian 002 100 0 — 3
WP-Avery Pearce 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 BB, 11 SO. LP-Jacob Whitesell 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO. S- Tucker Batten 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — North Johnston: Dylan Pitts 2-3, 3B; Avery Pearce 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Seth Coates 2-4. Eastern Christian: Ryan Ange 3-3, 2 RBIs.
CBA EDGES RMA 6-5
Charles B. Aycock rallied from 4-0 and 5-2 deficits to pull out a 6-5 win during Monday’s second-day action of the Golden Leaf Invitational AT Fleming Stadium.
The 3-A Golden Falcons of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference plated two runs in each of the second, fifth and sixth innings to emerge with their fourth win against 17 losses. CBA ends the regular season at 11 a.m. Tuesday with a Golden Leaf assignment against host Farmville Central.
Trailing 5-2, the Falcons struck for two runs in the fifth on a hit batsman, walk, Davis Carroll’s RBI single and a run-scoring grounder off the bat of Tyrie Artis.
Blake Dilda’s double started the CBA uprising in the sixth. Austin Booth drew a walk and Drew Spencer tied the score at 5-5 with a run-scoring single. With two outs, Jacob Prede drove in what proved to be the winning run with a line-drive single off the Rocky Mount Academy first baseman’s glove.
The Eagles of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 2-A ranks capitalized on CBA errors and walks to plate four runs in the bottom of the first. Isaiah Thomas slugged a solo home run in the second.
CBA pitches blanked the Eagles the last five innings. Trey Smith worked the last two and notched his first win.
Rocky Mount Academy’s lead-off hitter reached in the bottom of the seventh but Smith averted further trouble with a force out, a pop-up to shortstop and a fly ball to left field.
Score by innings:
C.B. Aycock 020 022 0 — 6
RM Academy 410 000 0 — 5
WP-Trey Smith. 2 IP, 0 R. LP-Colin Legaj 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 Bb, 0 SO
LEADING HITTERS — Rocky Mount Academy: Isaiah Thomas 1-2, HR; Ethan Davis 2-3.