Corinth Holders came so close to winning the title game of the 30th Bobby Murray Invitational High School Baseball Tournament Saturday night at Millbrook. But it was Southwest Guilford that pushed across a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the 2-1 victory.
Had the Pirates captured the championship trophy, there’s also a good chance that senior Mason Cooper could have also taken home the Most Valuable Player trophy.
But Cooper’s performance was what Corinth Holders coach Adam Weaver and Cooper’s teammates have come to expect from the three-year starter.
“Mason is is a hard-nosed kid, whatever it takes to play,” Weaver said. “He’s the personality of our team. He makes great plays at first base and hits in the four hole for us.”
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He’s also part of of a tight-knit Pirates pitching staff.
“Kody Cyr is our No. 1 and (Conner) Bass also starts,” Cooper said. Weaver has also called on Josh Jarman and Tate Proctor.
Against the Cowboys, Bass started on the mound and left in the fourth inning with the score tied 1-1. Cooper took over on the mound with two men on and got three straight outs to end the threat. He then pitched into the eighth inning. Having thrown close to 20 innings this year he knew he would be called on in the three-day tournament.
“The good thing is we’ve all played together for a long time and know each other,” Cooper said. “I thought I did a pretty good job of just pounding the strike zone, and my teammates did a great job making plays.”
His coached was pleased.
“When he pitches he competes, he’s a bulldog. He’s a competitor in everything he does.” Weaver said.
At the plate he is hitting .375 with two home runs. In the seventh inning, he ripped a long double but was stranded when Southwest left fielder A.J. Allen ran down a hard hit line drive to end the inning.
Cooper has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember and still has it in his future.
The Pirates reached the 3A East Finals last year, losing to Topsail.
“I think we can repeat that or go further if we keep our nose to it,” Cooper said. “I think this team has a lot of potential.”
After high school, Cooper will play at Barton.
“They’ll be able to count on Mason,” Weaver said. “He’s going to compete for a spot, whether as a pitcher, at first base or in the outfield.”
Weaver also sees good things coming out of the Bobby Murray Tournament.
“That was a good baseball team we played and that was a great high school baseball game,” Weaver said of the championship gme. “If we play like that and compete like that every time out good things can happen for this team.”
Southwest Guilford ace pitcher and cleanup hitter Kyle Blendinger was the tourney’s MVP. Joining Cooper on the all-tournament team were Southwest’s Sean McIntosh, Garrison Thornton, and Jacob Edwards, Corinth Holders’ Carson Sakowski, Middle Creek’s Jake Forte, Broughton’s Penn Sealey, Heritage’s Branden Kunz, Rolesville’s Ras Ran Amon, Millbrook’s Cole Leneschmidt and West Johnston’s Hunter Hood.