South Granville has gotten to the baseball state championship in back-to-back state championship, but the Vikings haven’t forgotten who’s denied them conference championship hardware in four of the last five seasons.
The Vikings took a big step towards their goal of winning the Northern Carolina Conference outright with an 11-1 five innings victory over visiting Bunn on Friday. Junior lefty Holden Laws, an N.C. State recruit, struck out 10 batters and allowed zero earned runs.
Bunn has won the last five conference titles, one of which was shared with South Granville. The Vikings have state title goals, but they’ve also got an eye on being tops in their own backyard.
Paired with a Tuesday win over Roanoke Rapids, South Granville has a leg up on potentially winning the NCC outright.
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“That’s something that hadn’t been done since 2011,” said first-year Vikings coach Jeff Tate. “We came ready to play tonight.”
Friday’s game wasn’t the best showing for a young Bunn team ranked No. 17 in The N&O rankings. Against No. 8 South Granville (7-1, 4-0), the Wildcats (5-2, 3-2) racked up four errors in the first three innings, falling behind 4-0 after the first and 8-1 after the third.
Only two of the Vikings’ runs were earned until the bottom of the fourth, when South Granville rapped out three hits and drew three walks.
“We’re young,” Bunn coach Chris Cullom said. “Until tonight, we had made the plays we needed to make. They’re a team that’s going to have a chance to get back to the state championship again and you can’t give extra outs – and we gave a ton of extra outs. And I’m not taking anything away from what they did because they hit it when they needed to.”
South Granville RBIs were notched by Chandler Kipp (two), Tucker Brown (two), Laws (one) and Justin Bullock (one).
Bunn’s lone run came on a Jackson Anderson RBI double.