Brian Miller and Chris Scott of Millbrook hope to keep the pressure on Richmond County Thursday night in the second game of the best-of-3 N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A baseball East Regional.
Miller and Scott, who hit No. 1 and No. 2 in the Wildcats’ lineup, reached base on all eight of their plate appearances in Tuesday’s 6-5 Millbrook victory.
Scott had two singles and two doubles in four at-bats, while Miller had a pair of singles and reached base twice on errors.
“A lot of things can happen if Miller gets on with Scott hitting in the gaps behind him,” Millbrook coach Austin James said. “It really puts some pressure on the defense.”
But both teams kept up the pressure. The game was tied 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before Miller and Scott led a two-run, sixth-inning rally for a 6-4 lead.
Richmond scored one run and had two runners on in the seventh before Gunner Deal got the game’s final out with a strikeout. The complete game was Deal’s third straight and the Wildcats’ fifth straight.
“I was really proud of Gunner,” James said. “It was tough. The top of the Richmond lineup is unusually dangerous and they were hitting the ball. Gunner had to tough it out.”
Deal struck out six batters, including three in the seventh inning.
“It was really good baseball,” James said. “Both teams kept going at each other in a pressure situation and responded well. Our kids were able to stay loose and have fun playing baseball.”
Alex Royalty, who has pitched complete games in his last two starts, is expected to pitch for the WildcatsThursday.
South must rebound: South Johnston baseball coach Keith Durham said his club responded well during Tuesday’s 10-6 loss to Hampstead Topsail in the first game of a best-of-three 3A softball series but needs to play better in the second game on Thursday at South Johnston.
The Trojans fell behind 6-1 but rallied for five runs in the sixth to tie the game.
“We are a really young team, but we showed a lot right there,” Durham said. “We didn’t lie down and feel sorry for ourselves. We went out and played hard and got back in the game.”
Topsail came back in the sixth and won on Trader Flora’s grand slam to center field.
“They had a couple of hits fall in and then got a good pitch to hit and knocked it over the fence,” Durham said Wednesday morning. “We’ll go to practice Wednesday and work on some things and be ready to play the second game in the series.”
Baseball championships: The NCHSAA best-of-three baseball championship series will played this year at the Carolina Mudcats’ Five County Stadium near Zebulon and at UNC-Greensboro. The NCHSAA will put two series at each stadium.
N.C. State’s Doak Field is the traditional host of the NCHSAA baseball finals but is unavailable this spring.
Soccer rankings: North Carolina is well represented in some national girls spring soccer rankings.
Cornelius Hough (24-0-2) and Panther Creek (22-0-1), which will play for the NCHSAA 4A title on at 8:05 p.m. Saturday, are Nos. 6 and 12 in the Student Sports Fab 50 rankings done by Sheldon Shealer.
Chapel Hill (22-1), which plays in the 3A final at 2:05 p.m. Saturday, is ranked No. 22.
Charlotte Myers Park (23-3) lost to Hough on Tuesday in the 4A semifinals and is No. 20 in the Fab 50, and N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 3A champ Charlotte Providence Day (16-0-3) is No. 44.
Cardinal Gibbons (21-2-2), which won once and lost twice to Chapel Hill, is No. 48.
Hough is making its third consecutive trip to the NCHSAA 4A finals and is No. 2 in the country in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings.
NCHSAA move: The N.C. High School Athletic Association will move a few doors down from its Simon F. Terrell Building in Chapel Hill for up to a year beginning this summer. The NCHSAA offices will have a major renovation.
The building was built in 1978, and a new wing was added during the 1994-95 school year.