High School Sports

HS Update: Ardrey Kell playing at home Thursday for state championship baseball berth

Ardrey Kell head baseball coach Hal Bagwell hopes to lead his team to a third state championship berth in 10 years with a win Thursday night against East Forsyth
Ardrey Kell head baseball coach Hal Bagwell hopes to lead his team to a third state championship berth in 10 years with a win Thursday night against East Forsyth jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Thursday night, Ardrey Kell High's baseball team will host East Forsyth in Game 2 of the N.C. 4A Western Regional championship series. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Ardrey Kell (25-5) won Game 1 8-1 at East Forsyth Tuesday. If the Knights win Thursday, they will advance to the N.C. 4A state championship series next week against the winner of the Eastern Regional series. Fuquay-Varina (19-10) beat Apex (17-9) 11-1 in Game 1 of that series.

The teams meet Thursday afternoon at Apex.

Ardrey Kell, which opened in 2006, lost in the 2008 state championship series to Greenville Rose and returned to win in 2009, beating Raleigh Sanderson. To return, the Knights will have to get past East Forsyth again. East had a 16-game win streak snapped Tuesday.

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Crest falls in 3A Baseball Regionals

Boiling Springs Crest needs look no farther than the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s 3A Western Regional baseball tournament game to know why it dropped the series opener to Asheville Reynolds.

Crest loaded the bases in the fourth but failed to score, and the host Rockets surged to a 5-1 victory.

The teams will play Game 2 at 7 p.m. Friday in Asheville, with Crest needing a victory to force a decisive third game Saturday evening in Boiling Springs.

A.C. Reynolds (23-3) had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Bryson Patton single, but Crest tied it in the bottom of the third on Riley Cheek’s home run.

Patton drove in another run in the top of the fourth, giving the Rockets a 2-1 lead. Then Crest loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the inning and appeared on the verge of a big rally. But Reynolds pitcher Jordan Pendley struck out three straight Crest batters, ending the threat.

The Rockets opened it up in the top of the fifth, on Talon Jones’ two-run single for a 4-1 lead.

The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for Crest (25-3), and the Rockets became the first team this season other than Lawndale Burns to beat the Chargers. Burns beat Crest 7-1 and 7-5 in regular-season contests.

Soccer finals times set

The 4A match between Myers Park and Fuquay-Varina will be the opener in Saturday’s state championship quadruple-header at the Dail Soccer Field on the N.C. State campus.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association has announced match times, and the 4A clash is set for 11 a.m.

That will be followed at 2 p.m. by the 2A championship, between Lake Norman Charter and Kill Devil Hills First Flight. The 1A title match is set for 5 p.m., between Monroe Union Academy and Wake Forest Franklin Academy.

The nightcap at 8 p.m. is the 3A title match between Concord Cox Mill and Chapel Hill.

Softball: South Caldwell edges Richmond

South Caldwell, playing less than 24 hours after beating Mooresville on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh, surprised top-seeded Richmond Senior 3-2 in the first game of the 4A Western Regional softball playoffs.

The Spartans (27-2) rallied from a 2-0 deficit and snapped Richmond Senior’s (24-4) 13-game winning streak.

The host Raiders took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on two South Caldwell errors and a two-run double by Payton Chappell. Reagan Weisner homered for South Caldwell in the top of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Ciara Hanson delivered an RBI double in the sixth, and after Hanson advanced to third base on a sacrifice, she scored the winning run on Addison Blair’s sacrifice fly.

The teams play Game 2 on Thursday night at South Caldwell.

South Stanly drops opener

South Stanly fell into an early hole and couldn’t recover, dropping a 7-5 decision to Alleghany in the first game of the 1A Western Regional girls’ softball championship series.

The host Trojans (20-4) led 3-1 entering the bottom of the fourth and blew it open on Taylor Allen’s grand slam. Trailing 7-1, South Stanly scored three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, but Alleghany pitcher Kenzi Lyall shut the door. Lyall finished with 11 strikeouts.

The teams play Game 2 on Friday night at South Stanly.

Yet another rainout

While the other 15 regional baseball and softball series are under way, the regional finalists in 2A Eastern softball haven’t even been decided yet.

North Johnston beat Bartlett-Yancey on Saturday to gain a berth in the 2A finals, but rain has caused four postponements in the other regional semifinal – Whiteville vs. South Granville. The teams were rained out Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The game was moved from South Granville’s waterlogged field to Louisburg College, but a sudden storm Wednesday evening caused another rainout. To make matters worse, the Whiteville team bus broke down on the way to the game.

Officials hope to play the game Thursday night but aren’t sure about when the best-of-three Eastern Regional finals will be played. It’s possible that a Sunday game might be part of the schedule.

Report results of your school’s spring sports games and matches to obspreps@gmail.com.