The Two Rivers 3A Conference will hold post-season tournaments in baseball and softball but thanks to all the rain and storms in recent weeks, those tournaments will play out over a couple of extra days. Both tournaments begin Wednesday with two games at each of the league’s third place teams. The No. 4 and 5 seeds meet in the opening game, then the No. 3 team faces off against the last place finisher.
Action in Thursday’s semifinal round goes to the regular-season conference champion with the league runner-up meeting the No. 3 vs. 6 winner and the top-seeded team taking on the 4 vs. 5 winner. Saturday’s championship games will be at the highest remaining seeds in both baseball and softball.
Like in basketball and volleyball, the league’s regular-season champion gets the No. 1 seeding for the state playoffs (barring a tie for the title) and should a team seeded lower than second in the tournament win the post-season tournament, they would move up to the No. 2 state playoff seed.
UMO titles have area flavor: The University of Mount Olive baseball team won another conference tournament title last weekend with some help from area stars. The Trojans’ roster features Johnston County’s Kodi Whitley and Bradley Ragan and former Garner Post 232 American Legion player Zak Orrison.
Whitley got the win in a 3-1 win over Barton in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The right-handed who played at Cleveland and West Johnston in high school is 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA in his rookie campaign.
The Mount Olive softball team won the Carolinas Conference tournament as well. The Trojans’ roster features North Johnston grad Ashleigh Mason, Princeton grad Hannah Woodward and Garner’s Madison Stewart. Mason, an outfielder, is hitting .375 on the season and has played in 36 games. Woodward has hit .400 in 20 at bats.
Tucker sets record: Former Garner High swimmer Tucker Dupree set the world record in S12 50-meter backstroke last week while competing in the 28th International German Championship in Berlin. Tucker, who is visually impaired, swam a 28.07 for the world mark in the S12 division.
Tucker also holds world records for the visually handicapped in the 50 and 100 butterfly and has 43 American records and nine Pan-American records. Tucker won a silver medal in the 100 backstroke and bronze medals in the 50 and 100 freestyles during the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
All-County soccer honors return: The 2014-15 school year will see the renewal of the Mr. and Miss Soccer awards and the All-County Soccer team by the Johnston United Soccer Association. The awards will honor the best boys and girls high school players in Johnston County at the end of each season. The execution of the nomination process and award selections and announcements will be made in the fall.
Notable: Clayton’s Robert Bennett finished fourth in sectional qualifying for the 29th N.C. Senior Amateur Championship at Bentwinds in Fuquay-Varina last week. He finished at even-par, 72. The championship will be played May 13-15 at Kinston Country Club.
Tim Stevens contributed.