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Tarboro baseball loses in second round; only two area NCHSAA teams remain

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Nash Central's Trey Whitley pitches to Eastern Randolph on Wednesday during the NCHSAA 2-A first round playoffs at Nash Central High School.

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From staff reports

Thursday, May 10, 2018

In all, there were 13 area teams competing in the first round of the NCHSAA tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tarboro baseball (10-12) won its first round game against Mattamustkeet, 13-3, on Wednesday and played on Thursday, losing to Riverside by a score of 18-3, ending its season in the second round.

Rocky Mount Prep (9-2) had a bye, and will play on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Falls Lake Academy at North Edgecombe High School.

Rocky Mount High, Southern Nash and SouthWest Edgecombe lost in baseball; Rocky Mount Prep, Tarboro, SouthWest Edgecombe and Northern Nash lost in softball; and Nash Central, SouthWest Edgecombe and Rocky Mount High lost in girls soccer.

The only other two remaining schools that won on Wednesday are Nash Central baseball (5-0 over Eastern Randolph) and Southern Nash baseball (13-3 over Wilson Hunt).

No. 12 Providence Grove (22-5) at No. 5 Nash Central (18-7)

Where: Nash Central High School, Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second round of the NCHSAA 2-A state playoffs

Outlook: After Trey Whitley’s wonderful two-hitter on Wednesday to win Nash Central’s first opening round home game in program history, Bulldog Hunter Robinson will get the start under the lights against Providence Grove.

With the win, Whitley pulled just ahead of Robinson on Wednesday, eight victories on the mound to seven. Both have impressive ERAs (2.73 for Whitley, 3.74 for Robinson), and who exactly is the ace of this team has been a friendly but competitive point of contention for the two juniors all season.

“Trey and Hunter have been right there, No. 1 and No. 2. You could make an argument for either of them being No. 1,” Nash Central coach Willie Langley said after Wednesday’s victory. Trey, to me, he kind of separated himself tonight. Hunter will read this, and say, ‘Well, I’ll show him on Saturday.’ I love the comp between them. They pull for each other. They joke about who’s the No. 1 and No. 2. Hunter will go out and give us a good game on Saturday.”

SOFTBALL

No. 10 Harnett Central (16-8) at No. 7 Southern Nash (22-4)

Where: Southern Nash High School, 7 p.m. Saturday in the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs

Outlook: There hasn’t been a hotter team this spring than the Southern Nash softball squad. A roster comprised of contributing upper- and lower-classmen has coach Scott Collie’s squad into the second round of the state playoffs with a 16-game winning streak. No Twin Counties team in any sport this spring can boast such a resume.

And the games really haven’t been close.

Southern Nash (22-4) has defeated its opponents by an average margin of more than nine runs per game during that stretch..

Carrigan Ewers’ pitching has paced the way. The Firebirds have seven shutouts during that period and have scored in double digits in 11 of the 16 victories.

Their opponent Saturday is on a six-game winning streak and did not lose a conference game. Harnett Central’s losses have all been to quality teams including South Johnston and Fuquay-Varina.

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