4A Baseball Championship: Fuquay-Varina slugs way to 10-6 victory over Ardrey Kell and second state title
ZEBULON – Fuquay-Varina pounded out 13 hits in the decisive game three of the 4A Baseball State Championship Series as the Bengals slugged their way to a 10-6 victory over Ardrey Kell and the program’s second state championship.
The Bengals exploded for four runs in the top of the second, with Vinny Consolo getting the scoring going in the game with an RBI single to center. Then after Consolo came home on a wild pitch, Matthew Long singled just past the shortstop, bringing Ryan Deboskey home for a 3-0 lead. Jack Howell made it home on an error in the infield and Fuquay had built a 4-0 cushion.
Kell stormed back in the bottom of the third, plating four runs of their own in the inning. Cam Brantly’s RBI ground out got the Knights on the board as Jakob Cohn came around to score on the first out of the inning. Then Joe Verdeschi scored on a wild pitch before Parker Ledford doubled to center scoring Jackson Scott
to trim the lead to 4-3. Game 1 winning pitcher, Trey Tujetsch, grounded out to short to push Vasilios Kaloudis home and tie the game at 4.
In the top of the seventh with a tie score at 6, Fuquay-Varina ripped off another four run frame to take a commanding 10-6 lead. It all started when Nick Askew scored on an error. Then Howell singled on a looper to left that brought two runs in and stretched the lead to 9-6. Long capped off the scoring with an RBI single to center field that saw Howell come home and push the score to 10-6. Long finished game three going 3 for 4 at the plate with a trio of RBI’s to his credit.
Senior Austin Johnson went five strong innings for the Bengals, allowing four runs, all earned, on just three hits and striking out four in his work. McCraw came in for the final two innings, allowing two earned runs, two hits while striking out five and only walking 3.
4A Baseball Championship: Fuquay-Varina forces game three with 3-2 win over Ardrey Kell
ZEBULON – Fuquay-Varina used three pitchers to hold Ardrey Kell to just three hits in a 3-2 victory for the Bengals that forced a decisive game three in the 4A Baseball championship series.
The Bengals started Kyle Mott, who went two innings without allowing a hit and only two walks before yielding to Joe Arnett in relief. Arnett went three innings but coughed up all three Knights hits during his stint on the mound, including both runs Ardrey Kell mustered in the game.
Arnett walked the two leadoff batters in the top of the fifth, which set the table for a one-out double by Parker Ledford that put the Knights in front 2-1. The Bengals responded with a pair of their own runs in the bottom of the fifth, as TJ Hardy singled to bring home Jack Howell and tie the game with one out in the fifth. Then Cameron Johnson doubled to right field with two away, scoring Hardy and making it 3-2 Fuquay-Varina before Garrett McCraw was thrown out at the plate trying to score to end the inning.
The Bengals turned to the junior McCraw in the sixth. McCraw took the mound with the lead and struck out a pair while walking just one and not allowing a hit. He nailed down the save for Fuquay-Varina and a chance to play for a championship in game three later that evening.
4A Baseball Championship- Game 1: Ardrey Kell shuts out Fuquay-Varina for a 3-0 game one win
ZEBULON – The Ardrey Kell Knights have battled their way to the 4A Baseball State Championship, and the scrappy club clawed their way to a 3-0 shutout victory in game one of the 4A Championship Series over Fuquay-Varina. The Knights got a dominating performance from their starting pitcher, Trey Tujetsch, and rapped out all four of their hits in the same inning to push all three of their runs across in the bottom of the third on the way to the win.
Jakob Cohn led off the bottom of the first for Ardrey Kell with a single to left field. After a pop out gave the Bengals the first out of the inning, Cam Brantley slapped a double to right field to put two runners in scoring position. Then with two outs, Parker Ledford and Tejetsch combined for back-to-back doubles, as Ledford pushed home two runs and Tejetsch helping his own cause with an RBI-double. The three doubles in one inning, lifted the Knights to a 3-0 lead, and they never looked back.
Fuquay-Varina only mustered four hits in the game, none of them coming in the same inning, which proved to be the Bengals downfall. The Bengals had numerous opportunities with runners on to string together some hits and try to rally, in part thanks to six walks issued by Ardrey Kell pitching, but the Bengals never found the clutch hit they were seeking. Coming out of a weather delay in the top of the seventh, the Bengals managed to work three-straight walks with one out, but with the bases loaded and one out Luke Carpenter stepped on the mound and struck out the first two Bengals batters he faced to end the threat and cap a 3-0 victory.
Tujetsch had a strong outing, going six innings before inclement weather paused the game for a short time. Tujetsch struck out ten Bengals, only surrendering four hits and issuing three free passes.
Fuquay-Varina dropped to 20-12 on the season and were winners of seven of their last eight entering the State Championship Series. Ardrey Kell, now just one win away from a state title, improved to 27-5 on the campaign. The Knights will look to close out the series in Game Two which is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium in Zebulon on Saturday.