4-14-23 roundup: Pro basketball, baseball and soccer, High school baseball and softball, College softball, NASCAR

By Richard Walker

Family mattered for North Gaston High School as tournament MVP Caleb Cloninger matched his father Chris Cloninger’s 1997 feat of winning Gaston County Baseball Tournament most valuable player honors while leading the Wildcats to an 11-3 championship game victory over East Gaston.

North Gaston celebrates its 2023 GCBT title

Also like his father, who threw a no-hitter in ’97 title game, Caleb Cloninger was involved in a no-hitter as he went four innings and Wyatt McSwain one inning in a 10-0, 5-inning no-hit victory over Highland Tech in the first round earlier this week.

In Thursday’s title game at Gastonia’s Sims Legion Park, Cloninger threw a 6-hitter while striking out eight and was supported by a 9-hit offense led by Carter Mason (3 hits), Carter Wright (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Houston Rector (2 hits, double, 3 RBIs) and Ashton Pope (double, 3 RBIs).

Joining Caleb Cloninger on the all-tournament team were teammates Rector, Pope and Caleb Bates, East Gaston’s Dylan Howell, Elijah Sutherland and Sheldon Clark, South Point’s Landon King and Dylan Owenby, Forestview’s Tripp Dow, Cramer’s Nate Brittain, Highland Tech’s Trey Costner, Ashbrook’s Jackson Sheehan and Bessemer City’s Jashawn Thomas.

In the Shelby Easter Tournament, top award-winners for the tournament were won by Kings Mountain’s Zane Brockman (most valuable player) and Burns’ Colby Putnam (defensive player).

Here are the area’s Easter holiday high school baseball tournament schedules/results:

Gaston County Baseball Tournament (at Sims Legion Park, Gastonia)
Host: East Gaston
(Monday, April 10 – first round)
North Gaston 10, Highland Tech 0 (5 innings)
South Point 15, Bessemer City 1 (5 innings)
Forestview 11, Ashbrook 6
East Gaston 2, Cramer 1 (9 innings)
(Tuesday, April 11 – consolation)
Highland Tech 10, Bessemer City 0 (5 innings)
Cramer 10, Ashbrook 0 (5 innings)
(Tuesday, April 11 – semifinals)
North Gaston 11, South Point 10
East Gaston 10, Forestview 8
(Thursday, April 13 – consolations, final)
7th place- Ashbrook 7, Bessemer City 6
5th place- Cramer 11, Highland Tech 10
3rd place- South Point 19, Forestview 4 (5 innings)
Final- North Gaston 11, East Gaston 3

Shelby Easter Tournament (at Shelby HS)
(Monday, April 10 – first round)
Kings Mountain 7, Brevard 2
South Caldwell 9, Shelby 0
(Tuesday, April 11)
Burns 6, Piedmont 0
Crest 2, Bandys 1
(Wednesday, April 12-consolation)
Shelby 5, Brevard 1
Bandys 8, Piedmont 7
(Wednesday, April 12-semifinals)
Kings Mountain 4, South Caldwell 3
Burns 7, Crest 5
(Thursday, April 13)
7th place- Piedmont 10, Brevard 7
5th place- Bandys 16, Shelby 6
3rd place- Crest 7, South Caldwell 5
Final- Kings Mountain 3, Burns 2

Beach Diamond Invitational (at West Brunswick HS)
(Monday, April 10 – first round)
Pine Lake Prep 6, West Columbus 2
Cox Mill 14, Southwest Guilford 7
West Stanly 6, Cherryville 1
West Brunswick 8, Cornerstone Charter 3
(Tuesday, April 11 – second round)
Southwest Guilford 16, West Columbus 6 (5 innings)
Cherryville 15, Cornerstone Charter 1 (5 innings)
Pine Lake Prep 6, Cox Mill 4
West Brunswick 2, West Stanly 1
(Wednesday, April 12 – final round)
7th place- Cornerstone Charter 4, West Columbus 0
5th place- Cherryville 2, Southwest Guilford 0
3rd place- West Stanly 3, Cox Mill 1
Final- West Brunswick 9, Pine Lake Prep 1

Catawba County Easter Tournament (at Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds)
(Monday, April 10 – first round)
Newton-Conover 12, Foard 8
St. Stephens 5, West Lincoln 1
Hickory 8, Hibriten 0
Alexander Central 15, Bunker Hill 5 (6 innings)
(Tuesday, April 11)
Foard 6, Hibriten 2
Bunker Hill 4, West Lincoln 3
Newton-Conover 2, St. Stephens 1
Alexander Central 14, Hickory 3 (5 innings)
(Wednesday, April 12)
3rd place- St. Stephens 10, Hickory 2
Final- Alexander Central 10, Newton-Conover 0 (6 innings)

Myrtle Beach Invitational (at Ripken Complex)
(Tuesday, April 11)
Maury, Va. 2, East Lincoln 1
(Wednesday, April 12)
East Lincoln 14, Highland Regional, N.J. 1
North Lincoln 15, Sumter, S.C., Wilson Hall 0 (3 innings)
(Thursday, April 13)
North Lincoln 11, Leonardtown, Md., St. Mary’s Ryken 2
East Lincoln 6, Bowling Green, Ohio 5
(Friday, April 14)
Bay Village, Ohio 9, North Lincoln 3

Tony Causby Classic (at Patton)
(Monday, April 10)
R-S Central 10, West Caldwell 0
Lincoln Charter 5, Maiden 4
Draughn 10, East Burke 1
Patton 6, Freedom 1
(Tuesday, April 11)
Maiden 10, West Caldwell 0 (5 innings)
East Burke vs. Freedom, no report
R-S Central 4, Lincoln Charter 3 (11 innings)
Draughn 9, Patton 4
(Wednesday, April 12)
3rd place- Lincoln Charter 18, Patton 7
Final- R-S Central 4, Draughn 1






College softball

Gaston College set history on Friday with a doubleheader sweep while celebrating “Sophomore Day” at Gastonia’s CaroMont Health Park.

The Rhinos improved to 36-6 overall and 13-1 in Region 10 to wrap up the region regular season title with two weeks left in the regular season.

Gaston College’s surge to a title in its first full year of softball started with a 16-10 loss at USC Sumter on March 3 in their first-ever Region 10 Division I contest as on Friday, the Rhinos extended their overall winning streak to 14 games and their Region 10 winning streak to 13 games – or since that opening defeat.

In Friday’s sweep that was preceded by honoring sophomores Asheton Queen, McKenzie Plaskin, Jailyn Tineo and Serena Yalich, freshman Brantleigh Parrott struck out 15 batters in eight innings of pitching for a victory and a save while adding three doubles and six RBIs in a 10-0, 5-inning victory in the opener and 8-3 in the nightcap.











Pro basketball

The NBA has finally ruled on a suspension of Charlotte Hornets free agent forward Miles Bridges.

Bridges, 24, pleaded no contest in November 2022 to a felony domestic charge and the remaining counts against him were dismissed after an incident that happened less just before he was set to become a restricted free agent in July 2022. The original charges of felony domestic and child abuse stemmed from an alleged assault on his partner that happened in front of their children in June 2022.

The league announced Bridges, who didn’t play in the 2022-23 season, will be suspended for 30 games without pay following a NBA investigation into the situation.

The league deemed that Bridges would get credit for 20 missed games as part of the suspension so it means Bridges would miss the first 10 games of the 2023-24 season if or whenever he signs with another NBA team.

Bridges was coming off his best year professionally as he averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in the 2021-22 season for the Hornets. As a restricted free agent, the Hornets can match any offer he receives.

The Hornets released the following statement on Friday evening: “We are aware of today’s decision by the NBA regarding the situation involving Miles Bridges. The investigation and ruling were the expected next steps in the process. We will have no additional comments at this time.”








High school softball

-This week’s games:

South Point HS tournament
(Monday, April 10)
Cramer 8, Cherryville 6
Kings Mountain 10, Cherryville 0
Cramer 8, Kings Mountain 3
West Lincoln 3, Forestview 2
West Lincoln 14, South Point 2 (4 innings)
Forestview 15, South Point 0 (4 innings)
(Tuesday, April 11)
5th place- Cherryville 10, South Point 3
3rd place- Kings Mountain 7, Forestview 3
Final- Cramer 8, West Lincoln 0

Hibriten HS tournament
(Tuesday, April 11)
St. Stephens 6, Burns 5
West Caldwell 6, Burns 5
(Wednesday, April 12)
Burns 21, Hibriten 6 (6 innings)

(Wednesday, April 12)
Crest 8, Mooresville 5










Pro soccer

Here is Charlotte FC’s full 2023 schedule:

(1-4-2 record)
Feb. 25 New England Revolution (L 0-1)
March 4 at St. Louis City SC (L 1-3)
March 11 Atlanta United FC (L 0-3)
March 18 at Orlando City SC (W 2-1)
March 25 New York Red Bulls (T 1-1)
April 1 at Toronto FC (T 2-2)
April 8 at Real Salt Lake (L 1-3)
April 15 Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
April 22 Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
April 29 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
May 6 New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 13 at Atlanta United FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 17 Chicago Fire FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 20 Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.
May 27 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.
May 31 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 0.m.
June 3 at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
June 10 Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.
June 21 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
June 24 CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
July 5 at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
July 8 FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
July 15 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 20 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 L.A. FC, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Nashville SC, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Inter Miami CF, TBD












Pro basketball

The NBA play-in tournament games:

(Tuesday, April 11)
Game 1- East No. 8 Atlanta at East No. 7 Miami – Atlanta 116-105
Game 2- West No. 8 Minnesota at West No. 7 L.A. Lakers – L.A. Lakers 108-102 (OT)

(Wednesday, April 12)
Game 3- East No. 10 Chicago at East No. 9 Toronto – Chicago 109-105
Game 4- West No. 10 Oklahoma City at West No. 9 New Orleans – Oklahoma City 123-118

(Friday, April 14)
East No. 10 Chicago at East No. 7 Miami – Miami 102-91
West No. 10 Oklahoma City at West No. 8 Minnesota – Minnesota 120-95

The first round NBA playoffs schedule opening games:

(Saturday, April 15)
East No. 6 Brooklyn at East No. 3 Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
East No. 7 Atlanta at East No. 2 Boston, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
East No. 5 New York at East No. 4 Cleveland, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
West No. 6 Golden State at West No. 3 Sacramento, 8:30 p.m. (ABC)

(Sunday, April 16)
West No. 7 L.A. Lakers at West No. 2 Memphis, 3 p.m. (ABC)
East No. 8 Miami at East No. 1 Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m. (TNT)
West No. 5 L.A. Clippers at West No. 4 Phoenix, 8 p.m. (TNT)
West No. 8 Minnesota at West No. 1 Denver, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)










Auto racing

The 2023 NASCAR schedule (with winners in parentheses):

Feb 5 Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles CA (Martin Truex, Jr.)
Feb 16 Duel No. 1, Daytona Beach FL (Joey Logano)
Feb 16 Duel No. 2, Daytona Beach FL (Aric Almirola)
Feb 19 Daytona 500, Daytona Beach FL (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)
Feb 26 NASCAR Cup Series at California, Fontana CA (Kyle Busch)
Mar 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV (William Byron)
Mar 12 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ (William Byron-2)
Mar 19 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA (Joey Logano-2)
Mar 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX (Tyler Reddick)
Apr 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA (Kyle Larson)
Apr 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN (Christopher Bell)
Apr 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville VA, 3 p.m. on FS1
Apr 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 3 p.m. on FOX
Apr 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Dover, Dover DE, 2 p.m. on FS1
May 7 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on FS1
May 14 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 3 p.m. on FS1
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open Race, North Wilkesboro NC, 6 p.m. on FS1
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro NC, 8 p.m. on FS1
May 28 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 6 p.m. at FOX
Jun 4 NASCAR Cup Series at World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison IL, 3:30 p.m. on FS1
Jun 11 NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma, Sonoma CA, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Jun 25 NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville, Lebanon TN, 7 p.m. on NBC
Jul 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Chicago, Chicago IL, 5:30 p.m. on NBC
Jul 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA, 7 p.m. on USA
Jul 16 NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire, Loudon NH, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono, Long Pond PA, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 6 NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan, Brooklyn MI, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Aug 13 NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Road Course, Speedway IN, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Aug 20 NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen NY, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona, Daytona Beach FL, 7 p.m. on NBC

(Cup Playoffs)
Sep 3 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 6 p.m. on USA
Sep 10 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on USA
Sep 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN, 7:30 p.m. on USA
Sep 24 NASCAR Cup Series at Texas, Fort Worth TX, 3:30 p.m. on USA
Oct 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 8 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 15 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 22 NASCAR Cup Series at Miami, Homestead FL, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville, 2 p.m. on NBC
Nov 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ, 3 p.m. on NBC