NCHSAA Baseball Championship Recaps:Randleman Tigers, led by head coach Jake Smith, claim second consecutive State 2-A Title

2022 1A Baseball State Championship | Cherryville evens the series with 6-1 victory over Perquimans in Game 2
HOLLY SPRINGS, NC – Everything went the way of the Ironmen in Game 2 of the 2022 1A Baseball State Championship Series as Cherryville walked away with a 6-1 victory to even the series and force a deciding Game 3 in the Series. Kanon Willis was sensational on the mound for Cherryville spinning a complete game, three-hitter allowing just one earned run and walking two despite striking out only one batter in the game.

Willis’ offense made sure to give him plenty of breathing room as the Ironmen tallied three runs in the bottom of the first to jump out in front before they tacked on two more in the third to push the lead out to 5-0. Landon Hahn was 3 for 4 in the game including a leadoff triple in the first that got the Ironman offense in gear. He scored as Colling Robinson doubled to center on the next play. Cherryville added two more in the inning as Tobias Mille slapped an RBI single down the left field line and later Nate Bookout crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

The third inning was promising for Cherryville as well, starting out with Kanon Willis’ single to left and the Ironmen would eventually chase Pirates’ starter Trenton Sawyer. The Ironmen plated both runs on a two-out RBI single to left center by Collin Huss that extended the lead to 5-0.

The Pirates struck back for one run in the fourth as Jackson Russ’ infield single brought Jeff Winslow across the plate, but it was the only run Perquimans could muster in the game. Cherryville added a final run for good measure in the sixth Collin Huss sprinted home from an RBI single to right field by Will Fowler to close out the scoring at 6-1.

2022 1A Baseball State Championship |
HOLLY SPRINGS, NC – First Pitch was 8 PM, currently in 6th inning, Release & Stats will come in a later, separate release.

2022 2A Baseball State Championship | Randleman hammers out 12 runs to knock out Whiteville 12-5
BURLINGTON, NC – For the first time in the 2022 playoffs, the Randleman Tigers gave up a run, falling behind Whiteville 3-0 in the first inning of Game 2 of the 2022 2A Baseball State Championship Series. However, the Tigers responded with their signature potent offense, exploding for five runs in the third to surge in front 5-3, a lead they would never relinquish, on their way to a 12-5 Game 2 win and a series sweep.

Whiteville showed they were not intimidated in the first inning of Game 2, jumping on Randleman starter Ryan White for three runs right out of the starting blocks. The Wolfpack got a leadoff single from Bud Baldwin before Luke Oldham reached on an error to put two on with no one out. Ty Lawson then ripped a double to right center to score the first run of the game, series, and of the playoffs against Randleman and give Whiteville a 1-0 lead. Kyler Dowless hit into an RBI groundout to plate Oldham and make it 2-0 before Will Fisher doubled to left to add another run.

The Tigers slapped five runs on the board in the third to take a 5-3 lead. Brooks Brannon got the scoring going with a 2-RBI triple. He finished the game 3 for 5 with three RBIs on his way to earning a selection as the Series’ Most Valuable Player. Later in the third, Seth Way pounded a 2-RBI double down the left field line to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. They added another run on a two-out RBI single through the right side by Ryan White.

Whiteville chipped at the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring a run on a throwing error to trim the lead to 5-4. The two teams played even until another offensive explosion by Randleman in the sixth. The Tigers ripped of six runs on seven hits in the inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing 3-RBI double by Shelton with two outs in the inning.

Whiteville concluded the season 23-5. The Wolfpack won the Waccamaw 1A/2A Conference with a record of 10-0 in league play, Whiteville won the school’s 14th Regional Championship and appeared in the State Championship Series for the sixth time since 2014.
The win secured Randleman their second-straight State Championship just a year removed from an exciting three-game series with R-S Central that the Tigers closed out with a 4-0 Game 3 win. However, this year’s Randleman team was machine-like and offensively potent. They entered Game 2 of the Championship Series on a string of eight straight shutout wins dating back to the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A Conference Tournament Final win over Trinity. During that same span, the Tigers had won every game by 10-runs except for the second game of the Regional Final against Community School of Davidson that they won 9-0.

The Tigers finished the season 33-1 with their only loss coming against Catawba Ridge from South Carolina in a Spring Break Tournament. The Tigers won the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A with a 12-0 record in league play. The Tigers won their third State Championship and their seventh Regional Championship in program history.

2022 3A Baseball State Championship | South Rowan ties series with a 4-2 win over
HOLLY SPRINGS, NC – Despite giving up two runs in the bottom of the first and falling behind early, South Rowan managed to fight back for a 4-2 win to extend the 2022 3A Baseball State Championship Series to a decisive Game 3. The Raiders saw Carson Crainshaw pitch brilliantly for seven innings, allowing just the two runs, neither earned, while scattering nine hits and two walks across the 30 batters he faced.

South Brunswick opened the scoring in the first as the Cougars plated two runs in the opening inning. Walter Jenkins scored the first run after reaching on an error and crossing the plate on an RBI single by Cameron Burgess. Later in the inning Burgess touched home when Jaylend Clemmons singled up the middle to make it 2-0 after one.

South Rowan regrouped and tied the game with a pair of runs in their half of the third. The Raiders got a baserunner with one out in the inning thanks to a bunt single by Nathan Chrismon and Ty Hubbard’s double put runners in scoring position with just one down. Haiden Leffew tied the game with his two-out, two-RBI double to left center to get the Raiders back even.

The Raiders jumped in front in the fifth, scratching across a run thanks to a leadoff double by Kane Kepley. Kepley’s leadoff double put him in position to score on Ty Hubbard’s RBI single through the right side that made it 3-2 in favore of South Rowan. The Raiders tacked on an insurance run in the seventh as Chrismon scored on Jacob Ritchie’s RBI single to right with one out in the inning. Chrismon was the offensive star in the game for the Raiders going 3 for 4, scoring two runs and swiping a base.

2022 3A Baseball State Championship | South Rowan bashes past South Brunswick 11-6 to win series
HOLLY SPRINGS, NC –South Rowan won back-to-back games on Saturday to down South Brunswick two-games-to-one in the 3A Baseball State Championship Series. The Raiders stormed from down 6-2 in the final four innings of Game 3 to push nine runs across the plate in the fourth and fifth innings on their way to claiming an 11-6 victory and the school’s first Baseball State Championship.

Things seemed hopeful for South Brunswick as Aubry Smith homered to lead off the game, taking South Rowan starter Chandler Oddie deep to right field to take a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning the Cougars got a pair of RBI singles from Banks Hartman and Patrick Boldt to lead 3-0 before the Raiders even had a chance to take swings.

The Cougars added another two runs in the second as Walter Jenkins slapped an RBI double to right scoring Smith to go up 4-0. Jenkins crossed the plate later in the inning when Cameron Burgess reached on an error and helped the Cougars to a 5-0 lead.

South Rowan did answer the bell in the bottom of the second, scoring a run on an RBI groundout by Carson Crain. However, the momentum was short-lived as South Brunswick answered with a run of their own in the third when Jenkins singled to right plating Shelton Bocook who had reached on an error.

Down 6-1, South Rowan pulled themselves together and clawed for a run in the third to draw within four. The Raider run came on a throwing error by the Cougar catcher trying to nab Kane Kepley who stole third and advanced across the plate on the error. With some momentum from the run in the bottom of the inning, South Rowan managed to keep South Brunswick off the board for the first time in an inning in the fourth.

Putting the zero on the board in the top of the fourth seemed to be the spark to ignite the Raiders, as the squad pushed four runs across the plate in the bottom of the fourth, tying the game at 6. Three of the first four batters in the inning singled, loading the bases with one out. Nathan Chrismon pulled a single through the left side to score two runs and make it 6-4. Then Kane Kepley scored on a balk and Chrismon scampered home on a wild pitch to tie the score.

The fifth inning for South Rowan was a fairly similar script as the Raiders loaded the bases, this time with no outs, on a walk, a single to right and an infield single. This time the first run came on a wild pitch that allowed Leffew to touch the plate before Colton Fisher singled to center to bring two more runs in. Fisher and Kane Kepley both eventually scored on a two-out fielding error by the Cougars, giving the Raiders an 11-6 advantage.

Cole Thomas came in to relieve Chandler Oddie to start the sixth and Thomas did not allow a run in the final two innings, scattering two hits and striking out a pair of Cougars to seal the victory.

South Brunswick finished the season 25-5. The Cougars won the Mideastern 3A/4A with a record of 11-3 in league play. They won the program’s second Regional Championship, appearing in the State Championship Series for the first time since appearing in the 2A State Championship in 1988.

South Rowan won the program’s first Regional Championship and first State Championship. The Raiders were 30-6 on the year and won the South Piedmont 3A with a record of 13-1. J.D. James was selected as the 2022 3A Baseball Championship Series Most Valuable Player. James went 6 for 10 and scored two run in the series.

2022 4A Baseball State Championship | Providence clips Pinecrest in ten innings to sweep
BURLINGTON, NC –Providence needed extra innings, but the Panthers got the job done, sweeping Pinecrest in the 4A Baseball State Championship Series with a 3-1, 10-inning victory. The win gave the Panthers the program’s third State Championship and completed an undefeated season with a record of 34-0.

The Panthers delivered the decisive blow in the top of the 10th inning plating a pair of runs to grab a 3-1 lead. David Garfinkle led off the inning with a walk and Luke Wolff slapped a one-out single to right to put runners on the corners before Wolff stole second base. Tommy Walker pushed a single to right that brought Garfinkle home to give Providence their first lead of the day.

With runners on the corners and one out, with one run already in, Collin McDougall legged out a fielder’s choice to avoid an inning-ending double play and allow Walker to score an insurance run to give Providence a 3-1 cushion.

Game 1 starting pitcher Eli Jerzembeck came in for the bottom of the tenth, slamming the door shut on the Patriots with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to end a bases loaded threat and pick up the save. Jerzembeck finished the series with 12 strikeouts total in eight innings of work, allowing just three hits and no runs while picking up a win and a save on his way to being named the 4A Series Most Valuable Player.

Pinecrest got the lead in the fourth when Grayson Hudgins singled to right field to plate Colby Wallace who had reached on a leadoff walk. However, other than a handful of hits, the Patriot bats could not solve Providence starter Michael Forret who struck out 12 in his 7.2 innings of work. His counterpart, Patriots’ starter, Colby Wallace, was equally dazzling, giving up a single unearned run on six hits across eight innings with seven strikeouts.

Pinecrest wrapped up their season with a 25-8 record. The Patriots won the Sandhills 3A/4A with a record of 10-2. The Patriots won the program’s first Regional Championship since 1979, and only their second all-time.

Providence finished the year a perfect 34-0. The Panthers won the Southwestern 4A with a record of 12-0. They claimed their fourth Regional Championship and third State Championship all-time. It was their first State Championship since they won the 2015 4A Championship.

1-A Baseball State Championship Recap | Perquimans survives Cherryville 6-3 in Game 3 to post back-to-back titles
HOLLY SPRINGS, NC – The defending 1A Champions were pushed to the brink again this year, but Perquimans survived a tough Game 3 challenge from Cherryville, winning 6-3 to earn their second-straight 1A Baseball State Championship.

Both teams were quiet offensively in the early going until the third inning when Cherryville took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single to left field by Landon Hahn that scored Collin Huss. The Pirates answered back in the bottom half of the third scoring three runs of their own. The first of the three runs was scored traditionally, with Macon Winslow’s RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1. Later in the inning the Pirates got two more runs as a throw got away from the catcher and allowed two runners to cross the plate and giving Perquimans a 3-1 lead.

Perquimans got another three-run inning in the fifth to stretch their lead to 6-1. Macon Winslow got the party started with a double to center with one out, getting to third on an error. Jakob Meads singled him in, and Jackson Russell added an RBI single of his own to go up 5-1. Meads scored on an error by the Ironmen shortstop to push the lead out to five.

The Pirates chose to bring Tanner Thach in to shut down a two-on, one-out threat in the Cherryville fifth. He got Will Heavner to strike out and induced a pop-up from Will Fowler to get out of the inning. In the Cherryville sixth, Perquimans turned to Tanner’s younger brother Mason Thach, a freshman with a five-run lead. He got the initial out, but Cherryville loaded the bases in the sixth on a walk and two errors.

With the bases jammed and a five-run lead Perquimans Coach Justin Roberson came back out to bring the elder Thach back to the mound from first to try and get out of the inning again. This time he could not escape without giving up some runs, as Collin Huss singled home a run through the left side and Hahn added an RBI groundout to make it 6-3 heading into the seventh.

Perquimans stuck with Tanner Thach for the start of the seventh inning despite him nearing the maximum pitch count for the weekend. He managed to get the first two men he faced, but Kamron Willis got an infield single, and Chase Miller drew a two-out walk, pushing Tanner Thach too near the pitch count to continue. This time Roberson turned to Jakob Meads, his Game 3 Starter, to come back in and close out the game. Meads got Tobias Miller to fly out to center to end the game.

Cherryville finished the season 22-12. The Ironmen were 8-4 in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A. They claimed the program’s tenth Regional Championship and appeared in the State Championship Series for the first time since 2016.

Perquimans wrapped up the year 31-2. The Pirates were the champions of the Four Rivers 1A at 12-0 in league play. The team appeared in the program’s sixth State Championship and won their second State Championship in as many years.

Courtesy of JAMES ALVERSON, AIC, and Director of Media for the NCHSAA