1A, 2A baseball champs crowned

Whiteville took down South Stanly for the 1A state baseball title and South Granville defeated Randleman for the 2A baseball crown on Saturday.

In Zebulon, Mackenzie Gore was the named the Most Valuable Player after Whiteville downed South Stanly 6-1 in the third and decisive game of the state 1A baseball championship series at Five County Stadium.

This was a matchup of the two teams that ended East Surry’s title hopes the past three seasons.

Whiteville won the state title a year ago, too, beating East Surry 2-1 in the finals. This season, it was South Stanly that knocked out the Cardinals in the sectional final. South Stanly also knocked East Surry out in 2013.

On Saturday, Gore came on to preserve the win after five strong innings on the mound by Brooks Baldwin and also had a hit and an RBI in the decisive game. He had fired a one-hit shutout and also drove in two runs to lead Whiteville to a 7-0 win in Friday night’s opening game. But South Stanly evened it with a 6-2 victory earlier on Saturday, as Luke Burris had three hits for the winners.

The Wolfpack never surrendered the lead in the final game after the second inning, scoring three runs on a sacrifice fly by Turner Brown and two singles. Whiteville tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Brown singled, scoring Taylor Smith, and that was followed up by Hunter Cartrette’s single, bringing home Byron Leggett.

Connor Grainger led the winners with three hits in four trips, while Brown had two hits and two RBI and Cartrette hit safety twice.

Vance Deese had a run-scoring double for South Stanly to give the Rowdy Rebel Bulls an early 1-0 lead.

The Wolfpack finished the year 28-5 while South Stanly was 22-8.

Both teams have great baseball traditions. Whiteville won its second straight 1A state championship and has earned six previous crowns. South Stanly was making its fifth trip to the championship series in the last seven years and won state titles in 2012 and ’13.

• In Raleigh, South Granville erupted for five runs in the third inning to come from behind and then held off Randleman 8-4 in the decisive third game of the state 2-A baseball series at Doak Field at Dail Park on the campus of N.C. State University.

South Granville jumped in front with three runs on four hits in the second, but Randleman countered by scoring four in its half of the second, all with two outs to take a 4-3 lead. But the Vikings got a two-run double by Cameron Willis, one of three hits he had on the day, and a run-scoring double by Tucker Britt as the big blows in the five-run third.

Willis, Britt, and Austin Bailey all collected three hits for the winners.

Justin Brown, who came on to pitch in relief in game three, was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the championship. He had pitched four effective innings in Friday’s opener as South Granville took a 9-2 win, and then hurled five innings in the clincher and did not allow a run, shutting down the Tigers.

Randleman had tied the series earlier on Saturday with an 11-1 victory shortened by the 10-run rule with a nine-run fifth inning.

In the final game, Caleb Webster and Tyler Adams each had two hits for the Tigers, who completed a 27-6 season. Randleman was in the baseball championships for the third time in the last five years. Randleman ended North Surry’s baseball season by winning the Western regional final series 2-1.

South Granville, in the finals for the first time since 1982, ended the year 25-3.

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