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ORANGE RALLIES IN SEVENTH AGAIN TO WIN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
GREENSBORO – Carvel Copeland delivered a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to drive home the winning run as Orange rallied for three in the final frame to beat East Rutherford 3-2 and clinch the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A baseball championship series at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
It gave the Panthers their first NCHSAA baseball championship and a sweep of the Cavaliers, with both games ending in similar fashion. In the opening game Friday night, Orange erupted for four runs in the seventh to break open a close game and score a 6-1 triumph.
Copeland, who had two hits on Saturday and went three for seven in the two games plus making a number of outstanding defensive plays in center field, was named MVP of the series.
East had taken a 2-0 lead in the fifth, scoring one run on a sacrifice fly by losing pitcher Cullen Park and another on a wild pitch. The Cavs held that advantage until the decisive seventh.
After a hit, a strikeout and an error, winning pitcher Jake Manzulich delivered a run-scoring single to help his own cause and cut the lead to 2-1. Then with two outs, pinch hitter Josh Pettiford came off the bench to deliver a clutch game-tying single, followed by Copeland’s base hit that brought in the winning run as Orange won for the 27th time in 30 starts.
Copeland, Manzulich and Larry McDonald each had two hits for the Panthers. Seth Baldwin and Michael Milam each hit safely twice for East, which finished 22-11 and was making its sixth appearance in the finals.
The Greensboro Sports Commission assisted with this championship series. Wendy’s and the Carolina Ford Dealers are the presenting sponsors of the NCHSAA sports program.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
STATE 2-A BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES—GAME TWO
UNCG Baseball Stadium, Greensboro
East Rutherford 0 0 0 0 2 0 0—2 9 3
Orange 0 0 0 0 0 0 3*--3 7 2
*Two outs when winning run scored.
WP—Jake Manzulich. LP—Cullen Park.