The Southwest Wake Athletic Conference came out a big winner Saturday in the two games played at Wakefield in the final round of the Bobby Murray Chevrolet High School Invitational Baseball Tournament, as Middle Creek and Green Hope took wins.
The Mustangs (10-3) pounded out 10 runs on 11 hits in just five innings to beat Broughton 10-0 and Green Hope (11-3) followed that with an 11-1 rout of Wakefield as Mitch Spence gave up just one hit in the five innings game for the Falcons.
“We lost to Middle Creek 5-1 just before the break so we wanted to play well and get ready for the second half of the season,” Green Hope coach Mike Miragliuolo said. “Our conference is just so tough every year. If you look across the tournaments played this week our conference was very, very impressive.”
Green Hope went 3-0 and Middle Creek 2-1 in their three Bobby Murray games. All told, the nine-team SWAC went 19-6 as five teams – Green Hope, Apex (won Wake County Invitational), Holly Springs (Wake County), Cary (round-robin Hilltop Invitational), Panther Creek (Hilltop) – went undefeated.
Middle Creek 10, Broughton 0
The Mustangs’ starting pitcher, junior submariner Robbie Frongello, set the tone by facing the minimum nine batters over his three innings as his team built an 8-0 lead before he left the mound. He gave up one hit but that runner was picked off first.
“Robbie is starting to come on and we need to be effective like he was today,” said Middle Creek coach Wesley King, whose team’s loss came to powerful South Granville and the Vikings’ ace, junior Justin Bullock.
Junior catcher Jonathan D’Ercole was a big part of the offense with two hits and three runs batted in. The junior was filling in for starting catcher Zach Moore, a senior East Carolina recruit who missed the tournament with an injury.
Third baseman Sammy Chapman, rightfielder Nathan Farakash, and leftfielder David Allen also had two hits for the Mustangs.
“The competition in this is pretty stiff,” said Broughton coach Harry Jones, whose team went 0-3. “But we had some guys get needed experience and Thomas Walden pitched a complete game for us and got our first hit today. He had a pretty good tournament.”
Green Hope 11, Wakefield 1
Green Hope had a respectable six hits, but the trio of Wolverines pitchers combined for 11 walks in the five innings. Wakefield’s offense produced a just one hit, a double by shortstop Kyle Grewe. The Wolverines were no-hit in game two by Southwest Guilford.
“We’ve got talent from top to bottom, but just haven’t put things together,” said Wakefield first-year coach Chris Keown. “But also we faced a couple of pretty good pitchers the last two games.”
Falcons senior catcher Drew Hegeman had two hits in the win and got the scoring started with a two-run single in the third inning. Spence also had a two-run double in the four-run third.
“Spence has been good all year. He’s 2-1 and has four saves,” Miragliuolo said.