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Wilson Tobs general manager Mike Bell announced Monday that this year’s Tobs High School Baseball Varsity Classic will be extended to a third playing date — Monday, April 8 — at Fleming Stadium.
The two games that were scheduled for last Friday but weren’t played will be made up that day with Wilson Christian meeting Greenfield at 5 p.m. and Rosewood taking on the Wake County Warriors homeschool team at 7:30 p.m. The junior varsity teams from Greenfield and Wilson Christian will start the tripleheader at 3 p.m.
Wet grounds at Fleming on Friday prevented the start of the scheduled 2:30 p.m. game between Wilson Christian and Greenfield in the Varsity Classic. Because the county foes had a regularly scheduled game at Wilson Christian on April 8, they moved that to Friday. Since Fleming is the Knights’ home field, they won’t lose a “home” game, per se, and can play in the Varsity Classic.
Rosewood opted out of Friday’s game against Wake County homeschool because the Golden Eagles needed to make up a 1-A Carolina Conference game against North Duplin that day.
Bell reminds that the Varsity Classic policy of not charging teams an entry fee remains intact for the games on April 8. Instead teams are asked to make a donation of nonperishable foods and six baseballs to be used in the game.
Fans may also bring canned food donations and receive a discount on the ticket price of $7 for all three games. All food collected will be distributed to 14 food pantries throughout the Wilson County area in conjunction with the Tobs’ seventh annual Home Run for Hunger food drive.
JV CLASSIC NEXT
The Tobs Junior Varsity Classic will be held Friday and Saturday, April 5-6, at Fleming.
The games Friday pit the freshman team from D.H. Conley versus the Bunn jayvees at 5:30 p.m. and Wake County homeschool against Greenville Rose at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, D.H. Conley’s jayvee team faces Cleveland at 10:30 a.m., followed by Conley’s freshman team against Perquimans County at 1 p.m., Rose freshmen versus Nash Central at 3:30 p.m. and C.B. Aycock taking on Cardinal Gibbons at 6 p.m.
The ticket prices are the same as for the Varsity Classic and fans can get discounted tickets if they bring a nonperishable food donation.
Perquimans County entered the Varsity Classic with a 6-1 mark, with the only loss for the defending 1-A Albemarle Conference champions a 3-2 defeat against First Flight on March 8 in Kill Devil Hills.
But the Pirates came up on the wrong end of 4-3 scores this weekend, falling to Nash Central on Friday and against Hunt in the final game of the Varsity Classic on Saturday evening.
But keep an eye on the Pirates, who reached the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs last spring. Freshman left-handed pitcher Tanner Thach mowed down all the Hunt batters he faced in three innings Saturday and is one of three Pirates hitting over .400.
Last season, Fike won the 3-A Big East Conference regular-season title but lost to Hunt in the conference tournament championship game.
The Golden Demons and Warriors are off to great starts (a combined 16-1) and look like they could be on a collision course for Big East supremacy again. But that should come as no surprise. Since the formation of the Big East in 2009-10, the Demons and Warriors have either won outright or shared the regular-season champion seven times in nine years. The two years that Hunt or Fike didn’t finish first (2014 and 2010), the Wilson teams were tied for second or finished second and third.
Hunt won Big East regular-season titles outright in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017 while sharing with Northern Nash and Rocky Mount in 2014. The Warriors were Big East tourney champs in 2012 and 2014. The Demons claimed Big East crowns in 2015 and last season.
The teams will play twice next week with Fike hosting on Tuesday, April 2, at Gilbert Ferrell Field and the Warriors hosting Friday, April 5, at Sid Boyette Field. Hunt is 8-0 overall and tied for first in the Big East with Rocky Mount at 2-0. Fike (8-1, 1-1) will play the Gryphons (8-2, 2-0) home and away this week while the Warriors have a home and away with Southern Nash (3-6, 1-1), which handed Fike its only loss last week, sandwiched around a nonconference game at Greene Central.
LITTLE LEAGUERS GETTING BIG
Of the 13 players on the Wilson City Little League that won the North Carolina Little League championship and advanced to the Southeast Regional in 2015, four play at Hunt and three are at Fike now.
In action for the Warriors on Saturday were Blake Daniels, Tyson Bass, Cody Mercer and Chase Waddell while playing for the Demons were Chad Bean, Connor Jinks and Colton Moats. Both Daniels and Bean picked up pitching wins for their teams.
Two more players from that WCLL team, Jacob Dienes and Christian Dougherty, are members of the Wake County Warriors homeschool team, while Thomas Lane plays baseball at Community Christian.
The other three players on the 2015 WC — Eli Pope, Tyler Godwin and Dylan Pollack — are currently not playing baseball. Godwin and Pollack are playing golf at Beddingfield while Pope is a pole vaulter for the Fike track and field team. Godwin played baseball for the Bruins last spring but injury prevented him from doing so this year.