7-4-21 roundup: High school baseball, Legion baseball, Pro baseball
By Richard Walker
N.C. High School Athletic Association Region 6 came away as the baseball champion of the 2021 State Games on Saturday.
The team, whose head caoch was Burns’ Alex Leonhardt with assistant coaches John Markley of West Lincoln, Windell Robertson of Cox Mill and Terry Tucker of South Stanly, had a 20-player roster that included players from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties.
From Cleveland County was Crest’s Colby Humphries and Kings Mountain’s Charlie Melton.
From Gaston County was South Point’s Jake Beaty.
And from Lincoln County was Matt Heavner and Landon Reeves from North Lincoln, Brett Mason from West Lincoln, Garrett Michel and Graham Smiley from East Lincoln and Mason Smith from Lincoln Charter.
Also on the team were players from Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties: Jacob Budzik of Sun Valley, Brantley Truitt of East Mecklenburg, Kane Kepley of South Rowan, Carson Dunlap of Covenant Day, Nathan Crismon of South Rowan, Ty Hubbard of South Rowan, Joseph Javier of Cox Mill, Aiden Evans of Hough, Eli Jerzembeck of Providence, Wesley Jones of Charlotte Christian and Mason Tinsley of Sun Valley
After participating in front of 90 college and pro scouts last Monday, the Region 6 team went 4-0 in the competition.
Region 6 beat Region 1 10-1, Region 4 12-0 and Region 5 3-2 before shutting out Region 3 7-0 in Saturday’s “Gold Medal game.”
Gastonia 4, Rutherford County 3: Sixth-seeded Gastonia pulled off the biggest upset of the first day of the Area IV playoffs as starter and winner Bryson Walker and reliever Austin Parker combined on a four-hitter. Parker got the final two outs by strikeout to earn a save for Gastonia (3-8), whose offense was led by Parker Richards (one hit, one RBI), Jesse Osborne (one hit), Parker (one hit), Walker (one hit, two RBIs) and Noah Caulder (one hit).
Gaston Braves 12, Caldwell County 9: Jackson Risk had a RBI double and grand slam home run to lead a 13-hit Braves’ offense that also got three hits from Liam Brady and two hits apiece from Ayden Ledford, Caleb Burr and Daniel McClellan. Reliever Ethan Simmons struck out four in 1 2-3 innings for the pitching victory.
Lincoln County advances: Lincoln County got a first-round playoff bye when Asheville told Legion officials they didn’t have enough players to compete in their scheduled best-of-five playoff series that was to start on Sunday. Lincoln County (4-2) advances to meet Western Division co-champion Cherryville (11-5) in a best-of-five series scheduled to start on Friday at 7 p.m. at Cherryville’s Fraley Field.
Junior Legion baseball
Cherryville 6, R-S Central 1 (Saturday): Winning pitcher Eli Newsome had two hits and one RBI, Ethan Guy had two hits and one RBI and Logan Hendrick one hit and two RBIs for unbeaten Cherryville (10-0).
The Gastonia Honey Hunters routed the High Point Rockers 11-3 on Sunday at Gastonia’s Caromont Health Park.
Osinski (three hits), Joshua Sale (two hits, six RBIs) and Boog Powell (two hits, two RBIs) led Gastonia’s 11-hit offense and starter Kirwan went six innings for the victory.
Gastonia (14-18) closes out its 10-game homestand on Monday at 6:50 p.m. against High Point.