South Charlotte

Porter Ridge wins conference title

Even coming off the school's first conference championship, the future for Porter Ridge head baseball coach Trey Staviski looks bright.

Porter Ridge won the conference title this year with one of the youngest teams in the region and finished the regular season 14-9.

The momentum of the season changed at the Griffin Toxey Spring Memorial Tournament over Spring Break, when the Pirates defeated Piedmont 10-8.

Going into the tournament, the Pirates were a young team getting used to playing together and had lost four of the last five games.

"Piedmont had really given it to us earlier in the year," said senior Josh Roeder. "That was a huge game for us, because we were able to come back from that loss and we were down in the game early, but we stuck with it and beat them at their place. It was huge."

The Pirates went on to win their next game 10-0 against Forest Hills behind a no-hitter from sophomore Drew Moore and some timely hitting from junior Sergio Patsey. Patsey was named tournament MVP after going eight for eight at the plate and hitting two home runs.

From there, things fell into place for the rest of the Pirates' season.

Senior Luke Kwasnick, an All-Conference performer last year, was injured for three weeks but returned to form after the tournament. Seniors Hayden Flores and Nick Cappello had steady seasons.

Patsey was solid at the plate all year, and sophomores Hunter Edwards and Moore contributed right away.

The Pirates reeled off eight straight wins. "Once we settled in, we really started playing a lot better," Staviski said. "We knew coming into the year that we were really young and had a lot of new kids. To their credit, they have matured."

Two freshman and three sophomores start for Porter Ridge, but the turnaround goes beyond the youth.

"The biggest change is our talent level," Roeder said. "We don't have to teach kids how to play, they are up here making plays and having an impact."

Staviski said his seniors did a great job leading, and that leadership was on display as the Pirates faced Sun Valley in the Southern Carolina Conference Championship game.

"Those are the guys we want to beat more than anyone, and when we were down early, we were confident and we wanted it bad," Patsey said.

The Pirates won 5-4.

Staviski said he was proud of his team for sticking together and this team is the first Porter Ridge conference champion.

"There isn't one kid on this team who I wouldn't put into any situation. That is why we worked so well, because although we were young, we were deeper than we had been in the past," Staviski said.

"Past years, we would give up a few runs and put our heads down and sulk. This year we are doing the scoring in bunches. It is a whole different attitude and mindset this year."