The basketball playoffs were in full swing when Green Hope baseball coach Michael Miragliuolo ran his team through preseason drills in T-shirts on a Feb. 25 afternoon the temperature hit 81 degrees.
Three weeks later, the Falcons took to the diamond at Panther Creek on a 48-degree afternoon. Players from both teams wore long-sleeve shirts under their jerseys and fans dressed in winter coats, hats or hoods pulled over their heads and some wrapped in blankets.
Mother Nature may have it backward, but Green Hope’s baseball team looked like it was right on schedule. The Falcons beat Panther Creek 11-1 Thursday in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference game that ended after five innings under mercy rule.
“We started hitting early and kept our bats rolling,” said Green Hope senior first baseman Austen Jones, who finished 2-of-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Green Hope, which is No. 9 in the N&O area rankings, improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Unranked Panther Creek suffered its first SWAC loss and fell to 3-3 and 3-1.