Ardrey Kell's baseball team is headed to the N.C. 4A high school baseball Final Four.
The Knights followed up Tuesday’s impressive 4-0 win over No. 1 seed Providence with a dominant 10-3 win over the West Forsyth Titans Saturday at Ardrey Kell in a fourth-round playoff game.
Ardrey Kell will next play a best-of-three series against East Forsyth in the West Regional Round, with the first game of the series this Tuesday at East Forsyth in Kernersville.
Game 2 will be Thursday night at Ardrey Kell, and Game 3, if needed, is back at East Forsyth. The regional winner will play the winner of the East Regional Round with No. 3 seed Fuquay-Varina against No. 15 seed Apex in the N.C. 4A state championship series.
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In Saturday’s win over the No. 13 seed Titans, the Knights smacked three home runs including a pair of two-run home runs by Vasislios Kaloudis. Parker Ledford also belted a grand slam to lead Ardrey Kell. Knights’ pitcher Trey Tujetsch scattered six hits while yielding three runs through six innings and earned the win.
In the break-through third inning, Ledford came up with the bases loaded and nobody out, and on a 3-2 pitch delivered with a grand slam.
“It felt good,” he said. “I was just going in thinking the bases are loaded and I’ve got to get one run across, maybe with a fly out. It came to that 3-2 count; and he threw a changeup and left it right at my chest, It’s a go when I see those pitches.”
Ardrey Kell (24-5) scored first in the second inning. Tujetsch led off the inning with a double. Two outs later Kaloudis homered for a 2-0 Knights’ lead.
In the top of the third West Forsyth (23-8) cut the Knights’ lead to 2-1. Banks Cox singled home Scout Cox who led off the inning with a double.
In its half of the third, Ardrey Kell brought out the long ball to build a seven-run lead. The Knights scored six runs. Jake Scott led off the inning reaching base on an error. Two walks later, Ledford drilled a shot to left center over the 350-ft sign for a grand slam and a 6-1 lead.
The Knights still weren’t done. Following a single by Tujetsch, Kaloudis launched a two-run home, his second round-tripper of the game for an 8-1 Ardrey Kell advantage.
Ardrey Kell coach Hal Bagwell sized up the next series with East Forsyth.
“They do a great job and they’ve got a great tradition, he said. “They won a very good league with West Forsyth and Reagan in there. It’s certainly a challenge and it will be very difficult. We’re very fortunate to take on that challenge.”
THREE WHO MATTERED:
Vasislios Kaloudis - Ardrey Kell: Accounted for four RBIs with his two, two-run homers while going 2-for-3 on the day.
Troy Tujetsch – Ardrey Kell: In addition to going six innings and yielding only three runs on six hits on the mound, the South Carolina commit went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three singles.
Parker Ledford – Ardrey Kell: Went 2-for-4 with a double to go along with his grand slam.
- In three playoff games, Ardrey Kell has yielded only three runs.
- The Knights won a state championship in 2009 and have been to the three regional finals, winning two of those in 2008 and 2009.
THEY SAID IT:
“I was pretty excited going through all of my pre-game routines. I was feeling good, feeling loose knowing I was about to go out there and do my job.” Knights’ winning pitcher Tujetsch on what he was feeling before the game.
WF 00 1 0 0 2 03
AK 02 6 0 0 2 0 10
WF Pitching: I
PH ER SO BB
Jacob Baldini2 4 5 12
Peyton Brown2 2/33 4 14
Coby Warren 1 1/31 0 12
IP H ERSO BB
Troy Tujetsch66 34 4
Garrett Sullivan 10 02 0