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Some of the top players and teams in North Carolina high school baseball will be trying to add hardware to their trophy cases this weekend in the 93rd annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state baseball championship series.
The 2-A and 4-A series will get underway on Friday at Doak Field on the campus of North Carolina State University, while the 1-A and 3-A will get their series going on Friday at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, home of the minor league Carolina Mudcats. All the series are best-of-three games, and each of the teams in the finals survived best-of-three regional championship series.
In 4-A action, surprising Raleigh Sanderson (19-11) seeks its first NCHSAA baseball championship and makes only its second finals appearance, with a runner-up finish back in 1992. The Spartans will take on third-year school Ardrey Kell of Charlotte (25-8), in the championship series for the second straight year after falling to Greenville Rose in the 2008 finals.
Sanderson, which was the third seed out of the Cap Seven, is a great turnaround story since the Spartans posted a 3-20 record back in 2006 but have a veteran corps of seniors who now play prominent roles. Charles Wolfe is the ’09 Cap Seven Player of the Year, batting a sizzling .450 to go with a 7-6 mark on the mound and a 2.12 ERA.
Kell overcame pesky North Davidson in the regional series and gets excellent pitching from Alex Wood, who is headed to the University of Georgia.
The 2-A series has a team in its first final, Morganton Patton (27-7), against Mayodan Dalton McMichael (25-6). The Fighting Phoenix of McMichael is averaging 8.3 runs per game with a potent team batting average of .333. Ethan Satterfield paces the Phoenix at the plate with a .413 average, seven homers and 31 RBI.
Patton, in only its second year of existence, perhaps expected some eventual baseball greatness. Nine players on the Patton roster were part of the Morganton Little League all-star team that finished seventh in the world in the 2004 Little League World Series. Aaron Attaway is the Catawba Valley Conference Player of the Year and is hitting .437 with eight homers and 32 RBI while Dykota Spiess is hitting .414.
At Five County Stadium, the first game on Friday will start the 1-A series in a battle between South Stanly (23-5) and Hampstead Topsail (21-10).
Topsail is riding a 10-game winning streak into its second straight trip to the state championship, where it lost last year in two straight to Cherryville, but the Pirates have rebounded from a 7-8 mark midway through the season. South Stanly bounced back from a 19-3 loss in its regular season finale with a hot streak in the playoffs for the Rowdy Rebel Bulls and beat defending state champ Cherryville in the West Regional series.
The 3-A series sends Eastern Wayne (25-4) against Lake Norman (26-2). Eastern Wayne, which won the 4-A crown in 1986, is currently riding a nine-game winning streak. John Wooten has been the big gun for the Warriors (.540 average, 16 homers, 51 RBI and 8-1 on the mound with 2.02 ERA).
Lake Norman, which has been in the baseball playoffs three times in its seven-year history, will counter with a strong defensive team and solid pitching. Scottie Williams is 8-0 on the mound and soph Taylor Thurber pitched well in the regional series. Nick Lomascolo’s two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh was the clincher in the 7-6 final regional series win over Waynesville Tuscola and Joe Faist leads the club in hitting with a .400 average.
The Raleigh Sports Consortium and Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau are serving as host city sponsors for the Raleigh games. Wendy’s is the presenting sponsor of the NCHSAA sports program.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2009 STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES—93rd ANNUAL
all series best of three games
CLASS 4-A: DOAK FIELD, NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
RALEIGH SANDERSON (19-11) vs. CHARLOTTE ARDREY KELL (25-8)
Game 1: Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m.; Game 2: Saturday, June 6 at 2 pm; Game 3: if necessary, Saturday, June 6 at 8 pm (5 pm if no third game in 3-A)
CLASS 3-A: FIVE COUNTY STADIUM, ZEBULON
EASTERN WAYNE (25-4) vs. LAKE NORMAN (26-2)
Game 1: Friday, June 5, 8 pm.; Game 2: Saturday, June 6, 2 pm; Game 3: if necessary, Saturday, June 6 at 8 pm (5 pm if no third game in 1-A)
CLASS 2-A: DOAK FIELD, NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
MAYODAN DALTON MCMICHAEL (25-6) vs. MORGANTON PATTON (27-7)
Game 1: Friday, June 5, 5 pm; Game 2: Saturday, June 6, 11 am; Game 3: if necessary, Saturday, June 6, 5 pm
CLASS 1-A: FIVE COUNTY STADIUM, ZEBULON
HAMPSTEAD TOPSAIL (21-10) vs. SOUTH STANLY (23-5)
Game 1: Friday, June 5 at 5 pm.; Game 2: Saturday, June 6 at 11 am; Game 3: if necessary, Saturday, June 6 at 5 pm
Event: 93rd annual NCHSAA Baseball Championships
Date: June 5-6, 2009
Site: Doak Field at North Carolina State University (2-A, 4-A); Five County Stadium, Zebulon (1-A, 3-A)
First Held: 1914
Qualifiers: Eastern and Western champions meet for state title in best two-of-three series; 64 schools initially qualified for playoffs in each classification
Defending champions: 1-A: Cherryville; 2-A: Orange; 3-A: Rocky Mount; 4-A: Greenville Rose
Tickets: eight dollars per game
Of Interest: The Most Valuable Player of the 2002 class 3-A championship, Cameron Maybin of T.C. Roberson, started the major league season as the center fielder for the Florida Marlins.
Host City Sponsors: Raleigh Sports Consortium and Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau