Saturday’s roundup: College baseball, Summer baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker

A pair of North Carolina schools will get a chance to snap long championship droughts on Sunday at noon when Duke and N.C. State play at Charlotte’s Truist Field in the title game of the ACC baseball tournament.

Duke’s Joey Loperfido had four hits to lead the Blue Devils in their Saturday semifinal victory. [theacc.com photo]
Duke, the last place team in the seven-team Coastal Division, gained its berth with a 4-2 victory over Virginia in the Saturday’s first semifinal. The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games, including all three this week in the league tournament.

And N.C. State knocked off Georgia Tech 8-1. The Wolfpack has won 14 of its last 17 games and started the season 1-8 in ACC games.

Duke is making its first appearance in the ACC tournament title game and hasn’t won a league championship since 1961.

N.C. State has won five ACC titles but hasn’t won one since 1992. The Wolfpack, who won a 1968 regular season championship, won the first three ACC tournament championships in 1973, 1974 and 1975, then won in 1992 but has lost in the title game nine times. N.C. State has lost in the finals in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2015.

The 2021 ACC baseball tournament results and schedule follow:

POOL A – #1 Notre Dame, #8 Virginia, #12 Virginia Tech
Tuesday: Virginia 3, Virginia Tech 2
Wednesday: Notre Dame 8, Virginia Tech 0
Friday: Virginia 14, Notre Dame 1

POOL B – #2 Georgia Tech, #7 Louisville, #11 Clemson
Tuesday: Louisville 15, Clemson 10
Wednesday: Clemson 11, Georgia Tech 5
Thursday: Georgia Tech 9, Louisville 8, 12 innings

POOL C – #3 NC State, #6 North Carolina #10 Pitt
Tuesday: Pitt 5, North Carolina 3
Thursday: N.C. State 3, Pitt 2
Friday: North Carolina 9, N.C. State 6

POOL D – #4 Miami, #5 Florida State, #9 Duke
Wednesday: Duke 12, Florida State 1
Thursday: Duke 3, Miami 2
Friday: Florida State 6, Miami 3

Saturday’s semifinals
Duke 4, Virginia 2
N.C. State 8, Georgia Tech 1

N.C. State’s Luca Tresh celebrates his home run during the Wolfpack’s Saturday semifinal victory. [theacc.com photo]
Sunday’s championship game
Duke vs. N.C. State, Noon

Here are the league’s updated standings with conference record following by overall record:
(Atlantic Division)
Notre Dame 25-10, 30-11
N.C. State 19-14, 30-16
Florida State 20-16, 30-22
Louisville 16-16, 28-22
Clemson 16-20, 25-27
Wake Forest 10-22, 20-27
Boston College 10-23, 20-28
(Coastal Division)
Georgia Tech 21-15, 29-23
Miami 20-15, 32-19
North Carolina 18-18, 27-25
Virginia 18-18, 29-23
Pittsburgh 16-17, 23-20
Virginia Tech 16-20, 27-25
Duke 16-17, 31-20


Summer college baseball

Former Cherryville American Legion Post 100 standouts Noah Eaker and Wes Reynolds helped the Forest City Owls to their first Coastal Plain League victory on Friday night.

Eaker, a 2017 Cherryville High graduate, pitched five scoreless innings of relief with three hits, three walks and six strikeouts to get the win in an 8-4 victory over the Spartanburgers at historic Duncan Park.

And Reynolds, who played at East Rutherford High School, had two hits, including a RBI double, and made several standout plays in centerfield.


Cherryville’s Noah Eaker pitches for Forest City Owls on Friday night.

High school baseball

Local high school baseball standings through Thursday’s games with conference record first followed by overall record:

Crest 9-0, 9-0
Kings Mountain 8-1, 9-1
Forestview 5-4, 6-4
North Gaston 5-4, 5-5
Cramer 3-6, 4-6
Ashbrook 1-7, 1-9
Huss 0-8, 1-8

R-S Central 8-0, 9-1
Chase 5-3, 7-3
South Point 5-3, 6-4
East Rutherford 4-4, 5-4
East Gaston 4-6, 4-6
Burns 3-7, 3-7
Shelby 1-7, 1-9

East Lincoln 9-1, 9-1
North Lincoln 8-2, 8-2
Bandys 6-4, 6-4
Lk Norman Charter 6-4, 6-4
Maiden 5-5, 5-5
Lincolnton 3-7, 3-7
West Lincoln 2-8, 2-8
Newton-Conover 1-9, 1-9

Cherryville 8-0, 10-0
Lincoln Charter 8-1, 9-1
Thomas Jefferson 5-3, 6-3
Christ the King 5-3, 5-4
Highland Tech 2-6, 3-6
Bessemer City 1-8, 1-9
Piedmont CC 0-8, 0-8

PAC 7 2A
Mtn Isl Charter 8-0, 8-0
Comm Sch Davidson 7-1, 8-1
Pine Lake Prep 8-2, 8-2
Union Academy 3-5, 3-5
Bradford Prep 3-6, 3-7
Langtree Charter 0-7, 0-7
Queen’s Grant 0-8, 1-8

Next week’s schedule

Tuesday’s games
Cramer at North Gaston
Huss at Crest
Kings Mountain at Ashbrook
Forestview at Bessemer City
East Gaston at East Rutherford
Shelby at South Point
McDowell at Burns
East Lincoln at West Lincoln
North Lincoln at Lincolnton
Thomas Jefferson at Cherryville
Highland Tech at Piedmont Community Charter
Lincoln Charter at Christ the King
Langtree Charter at Mountain Island Charter

Wednesday’s games
Cramer at Berry Academy

Thursday’s games
West Lincoln at East Lincoln
Cherryville at Piedmont Community Charter

Friday’s games
Ashbrook at Cramer
Crest at North Gaston
Huss at Forestview
East Rutherford at East Gaston
South Point at Shelby
Burns at Kings Mountain
Lincolnton at North Lincoln
Highland Tech at Bessemer City
Thomas Jefferson at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Langtree Charter



College baseball

Big South tournament: Presbyterian knocked off regular season champion Campbell to win the Big South Conference tournament title on Saturday at Fayetteville’s SEGRA Stadium.

The all-tournament was led by Presbyterian’s Zacchaeus Rasberry, an outfielder who was voted most valuable player. Other all-tourney selections were outfielders Spencer Packard (Campbell) and Grant Harris (Campbell), infielders Kyle Merkle (Presbyterian), Matthew Christian (Campbell), Zach Neto (Campbell) and Ben LaSpaluto (Gardner-Webb), catcher Jake Wyandt (Presbyterian), designated hitter Devin Buckner (USC Upstate), pitchers Charlie McDaniel (Presbyterian) and Mason Miller (Gardner-Webb) and utility selection Eric Toth (Presbyterian).

The tournament results are as follows:

Game 1: No. 4 Presbyterian 7, No. 1 Campbell 2
Game 2: No. 3 Gardner-Webb 11, No. 2 USC Upstate 4

Game 3: Campbell 5, USC Upstate 3
Game 4: Presbyterian 9, Gardner-Webb 6
Game 5: Campbell 13, Gardner-Webb 9

Game 6: Presbyterian 8, Campbell 5



Conference USA tournament: After winning its first regular season Conference USA title in history, No. 20 Charlotte is the top seeded team in the 2021 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Baseball Championship at the brand new J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston, La., on Wednesday through Sunday.

Charlotte finished the regular season with a 39-17 overall record and 24-8 Conference USA record after winning two of three games from UNC-Wilmington this weekend.

The tournament schedule follows:

Game 1: (4) Old Dominion 11, (5) Florida Atlantic 2
Game 2: (8) Middle Tennessee 7, (1) Charlotte 2
Game 3: (2) Louisiana Tech 7, (7) UTSA 6
Game 4: (3) Southern Miss 11, (6) WKU 1, 8 innings

Game 5: Florida Atlantic 9, Charlotte 8
Game 6: Old Dominion 10, Middle Tennessee 6
Game 7: WKU 10, UTSA 9, 10 innings
Game 8: Southern Miss 4, Louisiana Tech 1

Game 9: Florida Atlantic 14, Middle Tennessee 8
Game 10: Louisiana Tech 14, WKU 4, 8 innings

Game 11: Old Dominion 13, Florida Atlantic 5
Game 12: Louisiana Tech 11, Southern Miss 10
Game 13: Southern Miss vs. Louisiana Tech, late

Championship Game: Old Dominion vs. Southern Miss-Louisiana Tech winner, 2 p.m.


Pro hockey

The Carolina Hurricanes are in the midst of a Stanley Cup playoff pursuit after winning their fourth division title in 25 seasons in North Carolina. The Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup championship, advanced to the 2002 Stanley Cup finals and were in the Eastern Conference finals in 2019. Carolina is 36-12-8 this season and are the No. 1 seed in the Central Division.

Central Division semifinals vs. Nashville Predators
Game 1 – May 17, Carolina 5-2
Game 2 – May 19, Carolina 3-0
Game 3 – May 21, Nashville 5-4 in 2 OT
Game 4 – May 23, Nashville 4-3 in 2 OT
Game 5 – May 25, Carolina 3-2 in OT
Game 6 – May 27, Carolina 4-3 in OT (Carolina wins series 4-2)

Central Division finals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Game 1 – Sunday, at Carolina, 5 p.m.
Game 2 – TBA, at Carolina
Game 3 – TBA, at Tampa Bay
Game 4 – TBA, at Tampa Bay
Game 5 (if necessary) – TBA, at Carolina
Game 6 (if necessary) – TBA, at Tampa Bay
Game 7 (if necessary) – TBA, at Carolina



Legion baseball

The Gaston Braves Post 144-266 American Legion baseball team will hold sign-ups on June 5 at 4 p.m. at Gaston Christian School. For information, email [email protected].



Golf tournament

The Rutherford County Sports Hall of Fame is holding registration for the T. Max Champion Memorial Golf Tournament presented by Hardin’s Drugs. The event will be held Aug. 6 at Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club in Rutherfordton and will consist of three-person teams and a registration of $75 per player. The proceeds will benefit the RCSHOF Scholarship Fund and a prize of $600 will be awarded to the winning team. For more information on the T. Max Champion Memorial Golf Tournament or to nominate an athlete for the Rutherford County Sports Hall of Fame, please visit the RCSHOF website at https://rcshof.org/ or the organization’s Facebook page.