NCHSAA STATE 2-A BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES—GAME THREE
RANDLEMAN HOLDS OFF EAST RUTHERFORD RALLY 8-7 IN FINAL GAME
RALEIGH — Curtis Linthicum used both his bat and his arm on Saturday night to lead Randleman to a dramatic 8-7 victory over defending state champion East Rutherford in the decisive game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A baseball championship series at Doak Field at North Carolina State University.
Randleman won the best of three series two games to one, and the Tigers were in the NCHSAA finals for the first time since 1985. Linthicum was selected as the Most Valuable Player by going seven for 10 in the series and picking up the pitching win in the final game.
Randleman led 7-1 in the sixth and 8-2 entering the bottom of the seventh before the never-say-die Cavaliers made a dramatic rally, scoring five times. The exciting game-ending play saw Ridge Beheler of East deliver a double down the left field line with two outs and a runner on first. Left fielder Tyler Walls dug it out of the corner, hit shortstop Dylan Richardson and his relay to catcher Zack Bach was a strike that nailed runner Taylor Peyton at the plate to end the game.
Chip Helton had two hits in four trips, including a home run, for the Cavaliers and Mark McFarland also had two hits. Richardson, Linthicum and Ty Walls each had two hits for the Gators.
East Rutherford had forced a third game in the series with a 10-5 victory on Saturday afternoon, scoring all its runs in two innings including a six-run sixth.
In Friday night's opening game, Linthicum's grand slam highlighted a five-run sixth inning as Randleman outlasted East Rutherford in a 14-6 slugfest.
Randleman ended the season with a 28-4 record while East Rutherford, winners of five NCHSAA state titles in the previous nine years, wound up 28-6.
The Raleigh Sports Consortium and Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau are serving as host city sponsors for this championship series. Wendy’s is the presenting sponsor of the NCHSAA sports program.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
STATE 2-A BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES—GAME THREE
Doak Field, N.C. State University
Randleman 0 0 1 0 2 4 1 — 8 9 5
East Rutherford 0 0 1 0 0 1 5— 7 9 3
WP—Curtis Linthicum. LP--Derek Deaton. HR--Chip Helton, East Rutherford.