After beating reigning state championship East Rutherford in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A playoffs, R-S Central went onto qualify for the state championship round, trying to win the school’s first state baseball championship.
But when they got there, the Hilltoppers ran into a powerhouse team from Edenton Holmes, which swept R-S Central 2-0 in a best-of-3 series.
After winning Game One 3-1 Friday night, Holme took Game Two 7-2 Saturday at Five County Stadium in Zebulon.
On Saturday, senior Mathew Benfield threw a complete game, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out six. Benfield and Holmes (28-2) won their first state championship.
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After the teams exchanged runs in the first inning, Holmes got two more in the third. Ben Ward led off with a walk. then Dylan Patrick, the winning pitcher from Friday’s Game 1, had a one-out single. A throwing error allowed Ward and Patrick to score.
Holmes added three more runs in the fifth, to up 6-1 before R-S Central (25-5) got a run when Keaton Snethen scored on an RBI single from Jace Crowe.
▪ Holmes’ Patrick was named the series MVP for his pitching performance on Friday night and 1 for 3 day at the plate on Saturday with an intentional walk and run scored.