ZEBULON, N.C. – The John A. Holmes Aces found a way to win the opening game of the 2A State Championship Series against R-S Central, 3-1, despite only mustering two hits in the contest.
Dylan Patrick was masterful on the mound for the Aces. Patrick amassed nine strikeouts, holding the Hilltoppers to a single run. He worked around six hits and two walks during his seven innings on the hill.
R-S Central grabbed the lead in the third inning as Keaton Snethen scored on what ended up being a single by Cam Snethen after an appeal. Cam Snethen smoked a ball out into left field that got by a diving Luke Hoggard in left and rolled all the way to the wall. Both Snethens appeared to score on the play, however, upon appeal to second base, it was rule that Cam didn’t touch second, and he was called out which removed his run from the board, leaving the score 1-0 Hilltoppers.
Holmes got on the board in the fourth inning as Ben Ward drew a one out walk, working his way over to third before scoring on a passed ball by Hilltoppers catcher Wesley Smith. The passed ball also moved Patrick onto third, and he was able to score on an RBI single to right by Harrison Powell. Hoggard was cutdown at the plate on the play to end the inning, but not before the Aces had grabbed a 2-1 advantage.
Holmes got another run in the fifth as Nathaniel Stallings drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Stallings came around to score on the second and final hit of the game for the Aces, this one by Chace Kelley, giving Holmes the final margin 3-1.
Holmes can close out the best-of-three series in game two on Saturday at Five County Stadium. First pitch for Game 2 of the 2A series is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.