Top Players, Teams Set To Do Battle In NCHSAA State Baseball Championship Series

Posted by Press Release on June 2, 2015 at 6:53 pm under High School | Comments are off for this article

Some of the top players and teams in North Carolina high school baseball will be trying to add hardware to their trophy cases this weekend in the 99th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state baseball championship series.

The 1-A and 4-A series will get underway on Friday at Five County Stadium, home of the Carolina Mudcats, while the 2-A and 3-A classifications will get their series going on Friday at Doak Field on the campus of North Carolina State University. All the series are best-of-three games, and each of the teams in the finals survived best-of-three regional championship series.

In Zebulon, the first game on Friday at 5 p.m. will start the 1-A series between Whiteville (26-4) and South Stanly (21-6), a pair of perennial powers.

Whiteville has earned six previous NCHSAA baseball championships, including last year’s 1-A crown by beating East Surry two games to one, while South Stanly makes its fifth trip to the finals in the last seven years with 1-A state championships in 2012 and ’13.

Turner Brown, the Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year, leads the Wolfpack of Whiteville, which has gotten excellent pitching this season to the tune of shutting out opponents in 14 games, including four in the playoffs. South Stanly will counter with Yadkin Valley Conference Player of the Year Vance Deese, who is batting a whopping .492 with 12 extra base hits.

The second game Friday night at 8 p.m. at Five County will open the 4-A series between Raleigh Millbrook (20-10) and Charlotte Providence (29-3).

Millbrook surprised some by getting past Fuquay-Varina two games to one in the Eastern Regionals and is making its first trip to an NCHSAA baseball championship. The Wildcats were a 21st-seed in the Eastern bracket and senior Alex Royalty, a UNC-Wilmington signee, is a key player for Millbrook. Providence makes its third trip to the finals and has been nationally ranked this year by MaxPreps.

At Doak Field at North Carolina State University, Friday’s action will open with the first game in the 3-A series at 5 p.m. between Pikeville Charles B. Aycock (23-5) and Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (27-5).

Marvin Ridge, which has had an outstanding all-around year in sports, is led on its first trip to the NCHSAA baseball championship by Max Wotell. Wotell was recently selected as the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year. He has been an outstanding pitcher with an ERA around 0.54 and is hitting better than .400 on the season.

Aycock won state championships in 1974 and 2007 and was runner-up to Weddington in 2012. The Golden Falcons have three players committed to play collegiately; Bobby Hampton has signed with Appalachian State, Hank Smitherman with Lenoir-Rhyne and Ashton McGee has committed to North Carolina.

The 2-A series starts Friday night at Doak with an 8 p.m. game between South Granville (23-2) and Randleman (26-4).

South Granville makes its third trip to the final but first since 1982 and is still looking for that first state title. The Vikings have great pitching with a team earned run average of 1.29. One of South’s top players is sophomore Justin Bullock, who is hitting .440 and has the team lead with eight homers to go with 29 runs batted in and leading the team in pitching victories (9-2, 1.72 ERA).

Randleman is in the finals for the third time in five years with a state title in 2011, and the Tigers beat North Surry two games to one in the regionals. Tanner Routh fired a one-hit shut out in the opening game of the regional series and then came back to start the decisive contest.

The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is a host city sponsor for the games.

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