Some fans arriving at Cary Academy to see the Chargers’ unbeaten baseball team host Ravenscroft in a game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday were in for a surprise.
Play was already well under way and the scoreboard read that the visitors were leading 13-0.
Then, after the final out, Cary Academy coach Ray Pope greeted his players with congratulations and later mingled with fans.
“One guy said, ‘You sure look happy for a coach that just lost 13-0,’” Pope later said with an ironic grin.
The confused fans learned that after Cary Academy’s scheduled game Thursday at Ravenscroft was postponed due to rain, the teams agreed to a doubleheader of five-inning games Friday with Ravenscroft as the home team for the first contest.
By the end of the day, Cary Academy’s unblemished record was intact as the Chargers followed up their 13-0 win as the visitors with a 10-0 victory in the nightcap as the home team on the scoreboard.
Cary Academy improved to 19-0 overall and 6-0 in the TISAC. The Chargers, ranked No. 3 in the state in their private school division, are closing in on a second straight conference title.
Chargers left fielder Raymond Reynolds scored three runs in the first game and two more in the second. Catcher Ben Ramger scored three runs in the first and one in the second. And shortstop Zack Layne had three in the first and one in the second.
But the story in both contests was pitching as two seniors threw complete-game shutouts.
In the opener, Keenan Szulik struck out six and limited Ravenscroft to two hits. In the second game, Tyler Holt struck out four and had held the Ravens to one hit until they scratched out two infield singles in the fifth inning.
“They were both dominating tonight,” Pope said. “They were throwing hard and did a good job of hitting their spots.”
They also should be credited for remaining sharp in one-sided games when they were stuck in the dugout for lengthy periods while their teammates were batting around.
“They’re seasoned pitchers,” Pope said. “They don’t let a lot of things rattle them. They stay focused and do their job.”
In the second game, Szulik supported Holt with three runs scored and three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles. Holt helped his own cause with two singles and two runs scored.
Holt underwent Tommy John surgery and has put together a season worthy of a comeback-of-the-year award.
“I’m blessed to have an opportunity to keep playing,” Holt said. “I’m so proud of this team this year after I was sad I didn’t get a chance to play last year. This season is beyond my expectations.”