The South Garner High campus serving as a two-year temporary home for Garner High received capacity test on Friday as the host site of three N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoff matches.
The popular viewing spot was outside the softball field’s right post.
From elevated vantage point, you could simultaneously keep an eye on the baseball game below and softball before you. Administrators in golf carts used that as their central location, too. The soccer match in the stadium was out of sight, but it was within listening range – crowd noise– and walking distance.
But the unique day turned out to be a long one for the Garner Trojans. Only the softball team advanced to the next round of the playoffs. The Trojans’ softball team held off Panther Creek, 1-0.
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On the other fields the Trojans’ baseball team lost to Cardinal Gibbons, 14-2, and the girls soccer fell to Fuquay-Varina, 5-1.
The 11th-seeded Crusaders baseball team expected anything but a rout as the coaches and players took measure of an overcast afternoon with heavy air.
“We knew with the conditions we had to keep the ball on the ground,” said junior pitcher Evan Wilson, who improved to 5-0. “Anything in the air was going to be a routine fly ball.”
Wilson did his part, throwing a complete game that was called after six innings due to the mercy rule. Wilson doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he was throwing strikes and mixing in a slider that worked.
“I had a great defense behind me,” he said. “Scoring 14 runs against a good team like Garner is a boost for our confidence.”
Cardinal Gibbons scored seven runs in the first inning before Wilson took the mound in the bottom of the first.
Junior Gary Betts was 3-of-3 with three RBIs and senior J.P. Roque was 2-of-3 with three RBI.
The Crusaders advance to the third round on Tuesday.