Thursday’s roundup: College baseball and basketball, Prep baseball and track, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker

Three teams punched their tickets to Saturday’s ACC baseball tournament semifinals with wins on Thursday as Duke, Georgia Tech and N.C. State were victorious in back-to-back-to-back nail-biting finishes.

N.C. State’s Evan Justice (middle) reacts after getting the last out of the Wolfpack’s ACC tournament win over Pittsburgh on Thursday. [acc.com photo]
Duke edged Miami, Fla., 3-2 in Thursday’s opener to wrap up the Pool D championship, then Georgia Tech edged Louisville 9-8 in 12 innings in Thursday’s second game to win Pool B and N.C. State nipped Pittsburgh 3-2 in Thursday’s nightcap to win Pool C.

The final semifinal berth will be determined with Friday’s 11 a.m. opener between Notre Dame and Virginia.

That winner takes Pool A and will meet Duke at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Georgia Tech and N.C. State will be meet in Saturday’s 5 p.m. semifinal game. The championship game is Sunday at noon.

The 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: Notre Dame vs. Virginia, 11 a.m.

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 vs. N.C. State, 7 p.m.

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

Saturday’s semifinals
Pool A (Notre Dame-Virginia winner) vs. Pool D (Duke), 1 p.m.
Pool B (Georgia Tech) vs. Pool C (N.C. State), 5 p.m.

Sunday’s championship game

Here are the league’s updated standings with conference record following by overall record:
(Atlantic Division)
Notre Dame 25-10, 30-10
N.C. State 19-14, 29-15
Florida State 20-16, 29-22
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, 29-22
Miami 20-15, 32-18
North Carolina 18-18, 26-25
Virginia 18-18, 28-22
Pittsburgh 16-17, 23-20
Virginia Tech 16-20, 27-25
Duke 16-17, 30-20


Pro baseball

Magic Johnson (left) is shown moments before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the Gastonia Honey Hunters 2021 season-opener in Atlantic League of Professional Baseball action.

The Lancaster Barnstormers ruined the Gastonia Honey Hunters’ Atlantic League of Professional Baseball debut on Thursday at Gastonia’s brand new Caromont Health Park with a 10-6 victory.

Gastonia (0-1), which had Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson throw out the ceremonial first pitch, continues the seven-game season-opening homestand with a 6:50 p.m. game on Friday against Lancaster.


High school track

Kings Mountain’s boys and Cramer’s girls not only won the Big South 3A Conference track meet this Tuesday and Wednesday, they took most of the top honors from the meet.

Kings Mountain’s Titus Phillips was the field events MVP, Jaylen Mims was the track MVP and Rayvis Key was named the league’s coach of the year. Forestview’s Josh Virgil won the track and field MVP honor.

Stuart Cramer’s Alexis Willis won track and field MVP honors, Allison Payton won track MVP and Terrence Grealis was named the league’s coach of the year. Kings Mountain’s Alexis Jackson won the field event MVP.

Willis’ honor continued a long streak for the Storm girls track program since it started as Annelle Grealis (2014-16), Desera Rhodes (2017-18), Payton (2019) and Willis (2021) have won overall MVP honors.



High school baseball

Cherryville 9, Highland Tech 0: The Ironmen improved to 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference as starter Landon Hahn went three innings and reliever Tripp Creason went four innings and Dalton Pence (2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, double) and Will Fowler (2-3, RBI, double) led the Cherryville offense.

North Gaston 7, Forestview 4: Freshman Chase Gantt pitched four perfect innings in relief for a save (Jairo Osio got the win) and Nate Williams (2-2, triple, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Will Farnsworth (2-4, 2 RBIs) and Austin Wood (2-4, double, 1 RBI) led the North Gaston offense.

Kings Mountain 18, Huss 2

East Gaston 8, Burns 6 (9 innings)

East Lincoln d. Maiden

Lake Norman Charter 9, Lincolnton 3

North Lincoln 13, Newton-Conover 6

Bandys 11, West Lincoln 8

Lincoln Charter 19, Bessemer City 5 (5 innings)

Mountain Island Charter 3, Pine Lake Prep 2


Local high school baseball standings through Thursday’s games unless noted (x-) with conference record first followed by overall record:

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

R-S Central 7-0, 8-1
South Point 5-2, 6-3
Chase 5-3, 7-3
East Rutherford 4-4, 5-4
East Gaston 4-6, 4-6
Burns 3-7, 3-7
x-Shelby 1-7, 1-8

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

Friday’s games
R-S Central at South Point
Corvian Community at Piedmont Community Charter


College basketball

Belmont Abbey honors: Women’s basketball players Maria Kuhlman and Allie Downing were named Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. Kuhlman was a first-team selection, while Downing earned second-team honors. Belmont Abbey was the only school with multiple selections on the 15-player team.
The players are only the fifth and sixth overall – and first two females – to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in school history.


High school wrestling

(at Maiden HS)

Lincolnton 78, Lincoln Charter 6 – 170: Deandra Smith (LINC) over Emily Harrison (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 182: Josh White (LINC) over Lance Beam (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 195: Elijah Powell (LINC) over (LICH) (For.) 220: Johan Rodriguez (LINC) over Chase Hallman (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 285: Bernard Wingate (LINC) over Owen Cornwell (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 106: Isaac Powell (LINC) over (LICH) (For.) 113: Nehemiah Lynch (LINC) over (LICH) (For.) 120: Caleb Deaton (LINC) over (LICH) (For.) 126: Evonte Shuford (LINC) over Noah Allmond (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 132: Ethan Smith (LINC) over (LICH) (For.) 138: Quinlan Hunter (LINC) over Jack Casey (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 145: Justin Castillo (LINC) over Esteban Zuniga (LICH) (Fall 0:00) 152: Garret White (LICH) over Darion Greer (LINC) (Fall 0:00) 160: Nathan Wells (LINC) over Greyson Mackie (LICH) (Fall 0:00)

Lincolnton 66, Maiden 16 – 160: Nathan Wells (LINC) over (MAID) (For.) 170: Deandra Smith (LINC) over Ethan Bentley (MAID) (Fall 3:30) 182: Josh White (LINC) over Brandon Paretty (MAID) (Fall 2:30) 195: Elijah Powell (LINC) over Drake Deaton (MAID) (Fall 5:25) 220: Daniel Spring (MAID) over Johan Rodriguez (LINC) (MD 10-0) 285: Bernard Wingate (LINC) over Landon Moss (MAID) (Fall 0:41) 106: Isaac Powell (LINC) over (MAID) (For.) 113: Christian Wylie (MAID) over Nehemiah Lynch (LINC) (Fall 1:04) 120: Caleb Deaton (LINC) over Landen Bradley (MAID) (Fall 1:27) 126: Evonte Shuford (LINC) over (MAID) (For.) 132: Ethan Smith (LINC) over Jesse Wilson (MAID) (Fall 0:56) 138: Quinlan Hunter (LINC) over Diego Gallegos (MAID) (Fall 0:29) 145: Nathaniel Poovey (MAID) over Justin Castillo (LINC) (Fall 3:06) 152: Darion Greer (LINC) over (MAID) (For.)



College baseball

Big South tournament: Campbell is the top seed for the 2021 Ingles Big South Baseball Championship to be played Thursday through Saturday at Fayetteville’s SEGRA Stadium.

The two-time defending champion Campbell finished 28-9 in the league for a third straight regular season title. USC Upstate (28-12) finished second and Gardner-Webb (27-13) finished third.

The tournament schedule 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 vs. USC Upstate, 11 a.m. (elimination game)
Game 4: Presbyterian vs. Gardner-Webb, 3 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m. (elimination game)

Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, Noon (ESPNU)
Game 7 (if necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 4 p.m.


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: Louisiana Tech vs. Southen Miss, late

Game 9: Florida Atlantic vs. Middle Tennessee, 4 p.m.
Game 10: WKU vs. Loser game 8, 7:30 p.m.

Game 11: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner game 9, 10 a.m.
Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner game 10, 1:30 p.m.
Game 13 (if necessary): Same teams as Game 11, 5 p.m.
Game 14 (if necessary): Same teams as Game 12, 8:30 p.m.

Championship Game: 2 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)


Pro hockey

The Carolina Hurricanes are in the midst of their 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.

First round series 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 – Tuesday, Carolina 3-2 in OT
Game 6 – Thursday, Carolina 4-3 in OT (Carolina wins series 4-2)



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.