7-26-22 roundup: Pro baseball, football and soccer, Legion baseball and softball, College football, Auto racing, Hall of Fame

By Richard Walker

Cherryville held off pesky Hope Mills 6-4 in Tuesday’s opening day of the 2022 N.C. American Legion baseball state tournament at Campbell University.

It was Post 100’s first of three games in the eight-team, pool-play tournament pitting two teams apiece from areas I, II, III and IV.

Cherryville overcome a 2-0 deficit after 3 1-2 innings to improve to 26-12 on the season.

Landon Hahn (2 hits), Landon Jenkins (2 hits, 1 RBI), Jacob Hamrick (2 hits) and Will Blackburn (2 hits, 1 RBI) led Post 100’s nine-hit offense and Joseph Webb struck out 11 in a six-hitter on the mound for Cherryville.

Jenkins and Blackburn had RBI singles and Stroupe drew a bases-loaded hit batter in the three-run fourth to erase the early 2-0 deficit. Then, after Hope Mills tied the score at 3, a wild pitch, Cole Irby’s sacrifice fly and a double steal accounted for three runs in the three-run sixth.

N.C. state tournament at Campbell University:

July 26-30
Pool divisions:
Stars – Area I No. 1 Fuquay-Varina 21-5-1, Area II No. 2 Hope Mills 16-10, Area III No. 2 Randolph County 29-9, Area IV No. 1 Cherryville 25-12
Stripes – Area I No. 2 Pitt County 20-6, Area II No. 1 Wilmington 18-8, Area III No. 1 Rowan County 35-8, Area IV No. 2 Queen City 21-7

July 26
Queen City vs. Wilmington (W 4-1)
Rowan County vs. Pitt County (PC 5-2 in 11)
Cherryville vs. Hope Mills (C 6-4)
Fuquay-Varina vs. Randolph County (RC 6-0)
July 27
Pitt County vs Queen City, 10 a.m.
Randolph County vs. Hope Mills, 1 p.m.
Rowan County vs. Wilmington, 4:30 p.m.
Fuquay-Varina vs. Cherryville, 7:30 p.m.
July 28
Pitt County vs. Wilmington, 10 a.m.
Cherryville vs. Randolph County, 1 p.m.
Queen City vs. Rowan County, 4:30 p.m.
Fuquay-Varina vs. Hope Mills, 7:30 p.m.

July 29 semifinals
Games at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

July 30 final
1 p.m.






College football

Gardner-Webb running back Narii Gaither was named Big South Conference offensive preseason player of the year, seven other Bulldogs players also were honored and the team was selected tied for third place in preseason voting in the six-team league in Tuesday’s Media Day at the SouthPark Marriott in Charlotte.

A senior from Rock Hill, S.C., Gaither led the Big South Conference last season in all-purpose yardage (132.8 yards per game) and rushing (90.1 yards per game) while being named first team all-conference running back for the second straight season.

“It means a lot,” Gaither said. “It’s a testament to our offensive line, our coaching staff and our whole team.”

Other Gardner-Webb preseason honorees were first team offensive linemen Clayton Frady and Gabe Thompson, wide receiver Justin Franklin, defensive lineman Ty French, linebacker William McRainey and defensive back Jamari Brown and honorable mention quarterback and punter Bailey Fisher.

The Bulldogs of head coach Tre Lamb will seek to improve upon his team’s 4-7 overall record and 2-5 Big South Conference finish last season when Gardner-Webb lost four one-possession games, including two in overtime. The Bulldogs return 61 letterwinners and 24 starters (including special teams).

“We’ve got a lot coming back and we’re excited about what we have coming back,” said Lamb, whose team was one of five of the six league teams to receive a first-place in the 12-person committee. “We lost a lot of one-possession games last year so we were really close.
“And they say you lose close, you win close and then you win big so I think we’re on the right track.”

Gardner-Webb had 12 players on its roster who hail from Cleveland and Gaston counties: defensive end Stormy Mosteller (Burns 2018 graduate), running back Jalin Graham (Crest 2020), offensive linemen Chris Richardson (Crest 2020), Larry Dowdy (South Point 2019) and Jacob Patterson (South Point 2022), wide receivers Eli Brooks (Crest 2020) and Caleb Borders (Crest 2021), running back Kendall Massey (Ashbrook 2020), defensive backs Tyler Arrington (Shelby 2021) and Torrian Arrington (Shelby 2021), long snapper Jamie Wilson (Kings Mountain 2021) and linebacker Jaycob Neely (Forestview 2022).

Here is Gardner-Webb’s 2022 football schedule:

Sept. 1 Limestone, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 at Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Elon, 6 pm.
Sept. 24 Mercer, 6 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Marshall, TBA
Oct. 8 at Robert Morris, 3 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Liberty, TBA
Oct. 22 at Charleston Southern, 6 p.m.
Oct. 29 Bryant, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 at Campbell, 1 p.m.
Nov. 19 North Carolina A&T, 1:30 p.m.






Legion softball

N.C. Area IV championship:

(Quarterfinal – Tuesday July 19)
No. 5 Burke County at No. 4 Shelby (Shelby 8-1)
(Semifinal – Tuesday July 19)
No. 3 Wilkes County at No. 2 Alexander County (Wilkes 7-2)
(Semifinal – Wednesday July 20)
Shelby at No. 1 Rutherford County (Shelby 2-1)
(Finals – Monday July 25 through Wednesday July 27)
Best-of-3 series
Wilkes County vs. Shelby
Game 1 at Wilkes: Wilkes 8-5
Game 2 at Shelby: Wilkes 5-1 (Wilkes wins series 2-0)
… (Wilkes advances to N.C. state tournament at Big League Camp (Marion) Aug. 1-3)







Pro baseball

The Gastonia Honey Hunters dropped a 10-4 decision to visiting Lexington on Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, the Honey Hunters announced the Southern Division best-of-five postseason playoff schedule will start with home games on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 with both games at 6:15 p.m. Gastonia, which clinched its playoff spot with a first half divisional title, will play a yet to be determined opponent on the road for games on Sept. 23, 24 and 25 (the last dates if necessary).

The full Gastonia Honey Hunters’ 2022 schedule (Games times 6:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 4:15 on Sunday):

First half record: 44-21 (South Division winner)
Second half record: 14-4

April (8-1)
21 Lancaster, Pa. (L 2-5)
22 Lancaster, Pa. (W 4-3)
23 Lancaster, Pa. (W 8-1)
24 Lancaster, Pa. (W 13-4)
26 Wild Health, Ky. (W 12-1)
27 Wild Health, Ky. (W 17-4)
28 Wild Health, Ky. (W 6-4)
29 Staten Island (W 5-4)
30 Staten Island (W 6-5)

May (16-10)
1 Staten Island (W 10-5)
3 at York, Pa. (W 3-1)
4 at York, Pa. (L 4-5 in 10)
5 at York, Pa. (W 12-7)
6 at Staten Island (ppd.)
7 at Staten Island (ppd.)
8 at Staten Island (W 4-1)
8 at Staten Island (W 7-2)
10 at So. Maryland (W 2-0)
11 at So. Maryland (L 0-4)
12 at So. Maryland (L 2-4)
13 at Staten Island (ppd.)
14 at Staten Island (ppd.)
15 at Staten Island (L 1-2)
15 at Staten Island (W 1-0)
16 at Staten Island (W 8-3)
17 So. Maryland (L 4-5)
18 So. Maryland (L 6-8)
19 So. Maryland (W 13-1)
20 Charleston, W.Va.(W 12-10)
21 Charleston, W.Va.(W 6-4)
22 Charleston, W.Va.(L 1-8)
24 at Lancaster, Pa.(W 2-1)
25 at Lancaster, Pa.(L 3-13)
26 at Lancaster, Pa.(L 1-4)
27 at Long Island (W 5-3)
28 at Long Island (W 10-3)
29 at Long Island (W 3-2)
30 at Long Island (W 5-2)
31 Long Island (L 7-8)

June (17-9)
1 Long Island (L 9-10 in 11)
2 Long Island (L 0-5)
3 at High Point (W 5-4)
4 at High Point (W 8-3)
5 at High Point (W 8-3)
7 at Charleston,W.Va.(L 5-7)
8 at Charleston,W.Va.(W 6-0)
9 at Charleston,W.Va.(W 3-2)
10 High Point (W 7-6)
11 High Point (W 6-4)
12 High Point (W 9-5)
14 Charleston, W.Va. (L 4-6)
15 Charleston, W.Va. (W 14-7)
16 Charleston, W.Va. (W 2-0)
17 at Lexington, Ky. (W 6-1)
18 at Lexington, Ky. (L 2-3 in 10)
19 at Lexington, Ky. (W 4-0 in 11)
21 Charleston, W.Va. (W 8-7)
22 Charleston, W.Va. (L 1-4)
23 Charleston, W.Va. (W 5-4)
24 at So. Maryland (ppd.)
25 at So. Maryland (W 6-3)
25 at So. Maryland (W 3-0)
26 at So. Maryland (L 7-9)
28 Wild Health, Ky. (W 4-0)
29 Wild Health, Ky. (L 2-10)
30 Wild Health, Ky. (L 6-7)

July (17-5)
1 at Lexington, Ky. (W 12-11)
2 at Lexington, Ky. (W 10-6)
3 at Lexington, Ky. (W 10-5)
4 High Point (L 1-8)
–end of 1st half of season
5 High Point (W 8-5 in 5/weather)
6 at High Point (W 7-6)
7 at High Point (W 6-4)
8 High Point (ppd.)
9 High Point (W 4-0)
10 High Point (W 5-2)
10 High Point (ppd., no date)
12 at Wild Health, Ky. (W 8-6)
13 at Wild Health, Ky. (W 6-2)
14 at Wild Health, Ky. (W 4-1)
15 Lexington, Ky (ppd.)
16 Lexington, Ky. (W 4-1)
16 Lexington, Ky. (W 5-3)
17 Lexington, Ky. (W 12-5)
19 at York, Pa. (W 19-5)
20 at York, Pa. (W 10-0)
21 at York, Pa. (L 2-6)
22 at High Point (L 1-2)
23 at High Point (W 5-3)
24 at High Point (L 6-7)
26 Lexington, Ky. (L 4-10)
27 Lexington, Ky.
28 Lexington, Ky.
29 York, Pa.
30 York, Pa.
31 York, Pa.

2 at Lexington, Ky.
3 at Lexington, Ky.
4 at Lexington, Ky.
5 High Point
6 High Point
7 High Point
9 Staten Island
10 Staten Island
11 Staten Island
12 at High Point
13 at High Point
14 at High Point
16 So. Maryland
17 So. Maryland
18 So. Maryland
19 High Point
20 High Point
21 High Point
23 at Charleston,W.Va.
24 at Charleston,W.Va.
25 at Charleston,W.Va.
26 at High Point
27 at High Point
28 at High Point
30 High Point
31 High Point

1 High Point
2 Wild Health, Ky.
3 Wild Health, Ky.
4 Wild Health, Ky.
6 at Wild Health, Ky.
7 at Wild Health, Ky.
8 at Wild Health, Ky.
9 Lexington, Ky.
10 Lexington, Ky.
11 Lexington, Ky.
13 at High Point
14 at High Point
15 at High Point
16 at Charleston,W.Va.
17 at Charleston,W.Va.
18 at Charleston,W.Va.

—ALPB playoffs
(Southern Division championship: Best-of-5)
20 home at 6:15 p.m.
21 home at 6:15 p.m.
23 away TBA
24 (if necessary) away TBA
25 (if necessary) away TBA








Pro football

After the Carolina Panthers’ offseason training activities earlier this year, Sam Darnold could’ve felt the team’s starting quarterback job was his.

But after the team acquired former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns on July 6 many expect Mayfield to be the team’s starter.

That also could lead to some locker room unhappiness from Darnold.

Not so, at least says Darnold the day before training camp begins Wednesday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

“They’re going to do whatever they feel like is best for the team to win ballgames this year,” Darnold told reporters. “If that’s me bringing in Baker and us competing with each other for the starting job, then that’s the best thing for the team.”

Coach Matt Rhule said the quarterback situation as an open competition as Panthers’ 2022 training camp gets underway. He even went so far as to say he had no timeline on announcing his opening game starter, which ironically enough is Mayfield’s former team (Cleveland Browns)

“Anytime you put timelines on things, you end up rushing to make bad decisions,” Rhule said. “To me this is about being in the moment but not making rash judgements. Guys are going to have good days and bad days. When we know, we know.”

Darnold said since both he and Mayfield see themselves as starting quarterbacks, he expects fierce training camp competition.

“We’re both, in our eyes, the starting quarterback for this team right now,” Darnold said. “And that’s how we’re both gonna view it. So it’s just about going out there and competing, and that’ll be fun.”

Additionally, there could be a third candidate for the starting job – rookie Matt Corral, who Carolina traded up to acquire in the third round of April’s NFL draft.

The Panthers have said publicly Corral will need time to develop in the NFL after playing in the spread offense at Mississippi.

But Corral is eage to play right away.

“I’m going to try to compete to get the starting job by any means necessary,” Corral said. “Whatever that takes, I’m going to do. Let the cards fall where they fall.”

Also on Tuesday, the Panthers placed linebacker Shaq Thompson on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list after having a procedure to clean out his knee. The hope is he’ll be ready for the regular season.

Here’s the full Carolina Panthers schedule for the upcoming season:

Aug. 13 at Washington, 1 p.m.
Aug. 19 at New England, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 Buffalo, 7 p.m.

(Regular season)
Week 1, Sept. 11, Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Week 2, Sept. 18, at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.
Week 3, Sept. 25, New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Week 4, Oct. 2, Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Week 5, Oct. 9, San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.
Week 6, Oct. 16, at L.A. Rams, 4:05 p.m.
Week 7, Oct. 23, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 8, Oct. 30, at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Week 9, Nov. 6, at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 10, Nov. 9, Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Week 11, Nov. 20, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Week 12, Nov. 27, Denver, 1 p.m.
Week 13, Dec. 4, BYE
Week 14, Dec. 11, at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15, Dec. 18, Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Week 16, Dec. 24, Detroit, 1 p.m.
Week 17, Jan. 1, at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 18, Jan. 7 or 8, at New Orleans, TBD

The Carolina Panthers’ annual Fan Fest will be at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 11.

The event, presented by Daimler Truck North America, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 11. Tickets are $5 and go on sale to the public beginning Wednesday, July 13 at 10 a.m. on Panthers.com and Ticketmaster.

During Fan Fest, fans can see the Panthers practice on the stadium field and enjoy performances by the TopCats, Sir Purr, PurrCussion and the Black & Blue Crew before the night culminates with a fireworks and laser show.







Pro soccer

Here’s the full Charlotte FC MLS schedule for the 2022 season (with results):

(8-12-2 record)
Feb. 26 at D.C. (L 0-3)
March 5, L.A. (L 0-1)
March 13, at Atlanta (L 1-2)
March 19, New England (W 3-1)
March 26, Cincinnati (W 2-0)
April 2, at Philadelphia (L 0-2)
April 10, Atlanta (W 1-0)
April 16, at New England (L 1-2)
April 23, at Colorado (T 0-0)
April 30, at Orlando (L 1-2)
May 7, Miami (W 1-0)
May 14, Montreal (L 0-2)
May 22, Vancouver (W 2-1)
May 29, at Seattle (L 1-2)
June 11, New York (W 2-0)
June 18, at Columbus (T 1-1)
June 25, at Montreal (L 1-2)
June 30, Austin (L 0-1)
July 3, at Houston (W 2-1)
July 9, Nashville (W 4-1)
July 16, at Miami (L 2-3)
July 23, at Toronto (L 0-4)
July 30, Columbus, 7 p.m.
August 3, D.C., 7 p.m.
August 6, Chicago, 7 p.m.
August 13, at LAFC, 10:30 p.m.
August 17, at New York City, TBD
August 21, Orlando, 7 p.m.
August 27, Toronto, 7 p.m.
September 3, at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
September 10, New York City, 7 p.m.
September 17, at Chicago, 8 p.m.
October 1, Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m.
October 9, at New York, TBD






Auto racing

The 2022 NASCAR cup schedule (with winners):

Feb. 6 Busch Light Clash (Joey Logano)
Feb. 17 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 (Brad Keselowski)
Feb. 17 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 (Chris Buescher)
Feb. 20 Daytona 500 (Austin Cindric)
Feb. 27 Wise Power 400 (Kyle Larson)
Mar. 6 Pennzoil 400 (Alex Bowman)
Mar. 13 Ruoff Mortgage (Chase Briscoe)
Mar. 20 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (William Byron)
Mar. 27 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix (Ross Chastain)
Apr. 3 Toyota Owners (Denny Hamlin)
Apr. 9 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 (William Byron-2)
Apr. 17 Food City Dirt Race (Kyle Busch)
Apr. 24 Geico 500 (Ross Chastain-2)
May 2 DuraMAX Drydene 400 (Chase Elliott)
May 8 Goodyear 400 (Joey Logano)
May 15 AdventHealth 400 (Kurt Busch)
May 22 NASCAR All-Star Open (Daniel Suarez)
May 22 NASCAR All-Star (Ryan Blaney)
May 29 Coca-Cola 600 (Denny Hamlin-2)
June 5 Enjoy Illinois 300 (Joey Logano-2)
June 12 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Daniel Suarez)
June 26 Ally 400 (Chase Elliott-2)
July 3 Kwik Trip 250 (Tyler Reddick)
July 10 Quaker State 400 (Chase Elliott-3)
July 17 Ambetter 301 (Christopher Bell)
July 24 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono (Chase Elliott-4)
July 31 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard
Aug. 7 FireKeepers Casino 400
Aug. 14 Federated Auto Parts 400
Aug. 21 Go Bowling at The Glen
Aug. 27 Coke Zero Sugar 400
Sept. 4 Cook Out Southern 500
Sept. 11 Hollywood Casino 400
Sept. 17 Bass Pro Shops Night Race
Sept. 24 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Oct. 2 YellaWood 500
Oct. 9 Bank of America ROVAL 400
Oct. 16 South Point 400
Oct. 23 Dixie Vodka 400
Oct. 30 Xfinity 500
Nov. 6 NASCAR Cup Series Championship






Hall of Fame

The Bessemer City Sports Hall of Fame will induct its second class on July 30 at the First Wesleyan Church of Bessemer City. The induction class will be comprised of baseball player Chris Mason, the 1986 Bessemer City High School baseball team, coach Calvin Albright, coach Marty Hatchell and football player Phillip Crosby. The keynote speaker will be 1990 Daytona 500 winner and current professional stock car driver and team owner Derrike Cope. The event, held at the church located on 510 East Alabama Avenue in Bessemer City, will start with a 5 p.m. meet and greet and include a 6 p.m. dinner before formal induction. Tickets are $25 apiece and can be purchased at the City Hall Annex and Allan Farris Community Center in Bessemer City. Business casual is the preferred attire. For information, call 704-629-5111.