The Garner Nationals American Legion baseball squad got back above .500 on the season with a 7-5 victory over Wilmington Post 10 on Saturday. Troy Maslowski got the win to get the team featuring players from Johnston, Wake and Sampson counties to 7-6 on the season. Cole Hinnant of Clayton picked up the save.
Garner’s scheduled Sunday game against Cary Post 67 was not played.
The Nationals will play in the Florence Post 1 Invitational Tournament this weekend in Florence, S.C. Garner takes on Greenville Post 3 and Sumter Post 15 Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m., respectively. And on Sunday, the Nationals challenge defending South Carolina state champion Newburgh Post 44 in an 11 a.m. game.
Garner has continued to find its offense at the plate as manager Chris Cook has settled on a standard lineup with a few players returning from injury. Four Nationals are hitting .400 or better, led by Hinnant (.468) and Zeke Barefoot and Trevor Heasley (both at .422). Heasley leads Garner with 11 RBIs.
The strikeout bugaboo that dogged Garner earlier in the season has started to go away. Garner has now just one more strikeout on the season as a team as it does walks (71-70).
On the mound, the Nationals are still working on getting their team earned-run average down. It’s at 6.85 right now. Ryan Lee leads Garner with a 3.00 ERA, while Hinannt (2-0 with a save) posts a 3.17 average. Maslowski (3.70 ERA) has a team-high 17 innings pitched so far.
NC Junior qualifier at the Cardinal: The Cardinal Country Club in Selma hosted one of the qualifying stages for the N.C. Junior Boys Championship last week. The 18-hole event sent 21 golfers onto the championships, which will be held June 23-26 at the Country Club of Salisbury.
Cary’s Robert McPartland was the medalist with a round of 70, a stroke ahead of Brett McLamb of Coats.
Local qualifiers also included Nick Routhier, a Corinth Holders High golfer who shot 73 to tie for third, and Clayton’s Matthew Hayes who tied for 18th with an 80.
Two other golfers just missed the field. Clayton’s Alex Casatelli and Brice Connors of Garner finished at 81.
West Johnston High golf outing: West Johnston High’s Wildcat Club will hold its annual golf tournament to benefit the Wildcat athletic programs next month. The four-person superball tournament will be held on Friday, July 17, at Reedy Creek Golf Course. It will feature a shotgun start. The fee is $60 per person or $240 for a team and includes all golf fees, prize eligibility and meals.
Hole sponsorships are also available. To register or for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or David Mundy at 919-369-8130.
Other golf notables: Clayton’s Bill Brooks won the championship flight of the Tarheel Seniors one-day tournament at 12 Oaks Golf Club on June 15 with a 73. Clayton’s Steve Wirth finished third in the low net championship division (74) and Mike Dillon of Clayton was second in the first flight gross (81). Clayton’s Chuck Phegley won the closest to the pin in the 11thhole. … Garner’s Pamela Bergquist teamed with Raleigh’s Diane Thomas to finish third in the women’s division of a CGA One-Day Four-Ball Tournament at Brier Creek on June 15.