#9 East 4-A Leesvillle Road Pride Knock Out #1 Easr Section 4-A Southeast Falcons 5-2
Leesville Road High School’s baseball team stormed into Coach Kevin Callahan Field at Southeast Guilford High School on Tuesday night, looking to extend their 14 game winning streak which had brought them to the third round of the NCHSAA State Playoffs. The matchup was a third round playoff game between the NC 4-A East bracket #9 Leesville Road Pride were the visiting team against the # 1 NC 4-A East bracket Southeast Falcons
Senior pitcher Bailey Steed might have been the losing pitcher of record for the Falcons, but ask Falcons head coach Dave Beasley and his coaching staff, Charlie Pannell, John McDade, along with many other faithful Falcons fans, and they will tell you that Bailey gives his all every time he steps on the mound. It was no different this night.
Steed threw close to 110 pitches in five innings. He walked four batters and hit one, struck out one, and gave up six hits and four runs with one of them being earned. Not only did he leave everything on the mound, Bailey’s fierce competitive spirit was a shining example for the Falcons. His maturity and leadership became more and more evident as the game went on.
“I wasn’t as nervous as I have been in the past,” Steed said. “I felt good coming into this game. A few less walks would have been nice, but it just wasn’t enough to get the win.”
Senior Tommy Michaels came in relief of Steed on the mound in the top of the sixth inning, and pitched the final two innings for Southeast. Michaels had 2IP, 2H, IK, IER, and didn’t walk a batter. Michaels got in a jam in the top of the seventh with a run already given up, and was able to get the Pride’s number five hitter to bounce back to the mound, turning a double play to get out of the inning.
Another senior whose experience helped the Falcons on and off the field was D.J. Artis.
“I felt like I had a good personal performance,” Artis said, “but it wasn’t enough to get a win for the team, and that’s the most important thing. I felt like I could have done more to help the team come back and win the game.
Artis went 2-3 at the plate with a run, an RBI and a stolen base.
Other seniors who turned in solid performances on the field, and used previous playoff experience to guide the team in the dugout, included No. 25 Tommy Michaels, No. 6 Carmine Pagano, and No. 5 Ryne Stanley. Stanley, the Falcons’ catcher, was 2-3 with a double.
The winning pitcher from the Leesville Road Pride was NC State commit, Andrew Papp, who showed why he will be pitching at one of the best college baseball programs in the country next year. His line was 7IP, 5H, 2RR, 1ER, 5K’S, and did not walk a batter. He was touching 90MPH on the radar gun, and had a couple of great off speed pitches. Papp had control of all of his pitches.
The offensive leader for the Pride was their second baseman, Ryan Sande, who was 2-3 at the plate, with
“We’ve battled all year, there’s not much you can say to your guys, after you lose the lead in the fifth inning, just keep your head up and battle back like you have a year. I can honestly say believe this is the best group of players, who battle back when they’re down and come back to win.” Southeast Head Coach Dave Beasley said postgame. “Bailey Steed and Tommy Michaels were both in jams in different innings, but made the pitches they needed to, getting out of them jams. I think that does pump you up we’ve made plays like that all year, but tonight there were a couple miscues, that they turned into runs. In the playoffs, that’ll kill you, and those miscues killed our chances of advancing in the playoffs.” Beasley added.
Congratulations to Southeast Guilford for an amazing season, going undefeated (10-0), and winning the Metro 4-A Tournament, and finishing with an overall record of (22-6). Good luck to the Leesville Road Pride in the rest of the tournament.
The Southeast Falcons team displayed all the traits of champions, even in defeat. And isn’t that what the game is all about?