Lake Norman & Mooresville

All-Lake Norman baseball team

The SouthLake Christian baseball team has made a name for itself over the last few years with its prolific power at the plate.

This year, the Eagles etched their name in the history books, winning their first NCISAA 2A state championship.

While the Eagles headlined the high school baseball season for Lake Norman area teams, they were hardly a one-team show.

East Lincoln, the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A co-champions, also set a school-record with 23 wins this season as coach Chris Matile and the Mustangs advanced to their first 2A state semifinals.

Lake Norman won the I-Meck regular season crown this year, going 18-8 overall including 12-2 in conference play, before falling in the first round of the 4A playoffs to Alexander Central.

Mooresville, North Mecklenburg and Hopewell also had solid I-Meck campaigns and made the playoffs. The Blue Devils won 20 games while North Meck won 11 games in Trevin Smith's first season at the helm.

Hopewell (14-14) struggled at times but finished in third place in the conference behind the Wildcats and second-place Mallard Creek.

Lake Norman Charter was also impressive, going 17-5 and making it to the second round of the 1A playoffs. The Knights will join East Lincoln next season in the SPC.

Davidson Day may have made the most progress as a program, going 12-6 in their first year and advancing to the second round of the NCISAA 1A playoffs.

Lake Norman player of the year: Michael Russell, Hopewell

Michael Russell will go down as one of the best athletes to ever play at Hopewell.

The Titan senior is one of the only players in any sport to earn all-conference honors in three different sports in the same year, being recognized in football (safety), basketball (point guard) and baseball (shortstop).

Russell, the I-Meck Player of the Year, hit .506 this spring, with an area-best 12 doubles and 23 RBIs.

The versatile Russell, who can play nearly every position on the field, will now focus on baseball, continuing his career at North Carolina next year.

Lake Norman pitcher of the year: Jared Fortune, SouthLake Christian

Jared Fortune had done just about everything in his SouthLake career going into the final month of his senior season.

But the Eagles' senior, known for his prolific 27 home runs in last two seasons, saved his best for last on the mound.

Fortune led SouthLake Christian to their first NCISAA title, earning both wins in the comeback 2-1 state championship series against Henderson's Kerr-Vance Academy.

Fortune was in all-state form all season, hitting .467 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI sat the plate, while going 12-0-1 on the mound with 77 strikeouts and a 2.68 ERA.

Lake Norman coach of the year: Rich Landis, SouthLake Christian

Rich Landis had never won a state championship in more than 30 years as a coach and player in any sport.

After losing the first game of the state championship series to traditional power Kerr-Vance, Landis had to wonder if this was his year or not.

But Landis and his Eagles came back with a vengeance in the next two games, winning 11-1 and 10-0 in final to clinch the series and the school's first team state championship.

Landis had his team in top form all year long, as the Eagles won a school record 28 games led by a experienced offense that produced more than 11 runs per games.

All-Lake Norman baseball team

Pitchers

Jared Fortune, SouthLake Christian: Big-time slugger also impressed on the mound with 12-0-1 record, 2.68 ERA, 77 strikeouts.

Taylor Thurber, Lake Norman: Appalachian State signee was I-Meck Pitcher of the Year leading conference in strikeouts

Paul Leonard, North Mecklenburg: Top Viking pitcher stepped up to as a senior, getting 11 wins on the mound.

Clayton Dellinger, East Lincoln: Senior ace was nearly unbeatable with 7-1 record.

Catcher

Anthony Dimino, North Mecklenburg: USC Upstate signee, all I-Meck catcher hit. 400-plus for the season.

Jack Edmiston, Lake Norman: All-I-Meck catcher was also strong at plate with three home runs, 24 RBIs.

Infielders

Michael Russell, Hopewell: UNC signee, I-Meck Player of the Year hit .506 for the season.

Ian Edmiston, Lake Norman: Edmiston twin hit .466 and had 11 doubles for Wildcats.

Josh Holcomb, Mooresville: Powerful Blue Devil had nine homers, 32 RBIs.

Nathan Sharp, SouthLake Christian: All-state player was one of Eagles' big bat, hitting .430.

Taylor Cox, Davidson Day: Earned all-state honors, hitting .550 with six home runs to help lead first year team.

Outfielders

Hunter Conley, Hopewell: Titan ace on the mound also solid in outfielder, hit four home runs.

Ryan Brennan, Mooresville: Junior had monster year, hitting .455 with seven home runs.

Palmer Coleman, SouthLake Christian: Senior led area with 14 home runs, 60 RBIs.

Utility players

Will Grier, Davidson Day: Freshman catcher led area with .672 batting average, added 29 RBIs.

Parker Hills, East Lincoln: Standout pitcher/catcher batted .416 while also earning six wins on the mound.

Sam Remick, SouthLake Christian: Senior catcher, another big hitter for Eagles had .433 average at the plate.

Zech Wiggs, Lake Norman Charter: Multifaceted senior had .384 batting average, eight home runs and 8-3 record on mound with 2.53 ERA.

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