FAYETTEVILLE – Lee Watson went the distance for J.H. Rose, pitching a complete game against Cox Mill to lead the Rampants to an 8-1 victory in Game 1 of the 3A State Championship Series. The Rampants only managed five hits but capitalized on eight walks and five Charger errors to walk away a win away from a State Championship.
Rose opened the scoring with three in the bottom of the second. The Rampants got going with a leadoff single by Cam Greenway followed by an RBI double by Caleb May. May later scored on a wild pitch before Jayden Grimes reached on a dropped third strike which allowed another run home. Rose tacked on a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to give themselves some cushion heading to the late innings.
Grimes went one for three for the Rampants but drove in a pair of runs and scored another, as the offensive star for J.H. Rose. Watson did his part on the mound, striking out seven while allowing seven hits and a single earned run.
The Rampants can close out the 3A Championship Series with a win in Game 2. Game 2 has been moved to Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville due to field conditions at J.P. Riddle Stadium. Game 2 is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and, if necessary, Game 3 would be played approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 2.
Sportsmanship is an integral part of education-based athletics and the NCHSAA has partnered with NC Farm Bureau to highlight one individual from each participating team in the State Championship Series who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship. The winners of the 2021 3A Baseball Sportsmanship Award were Harrison Gray from J.H. Rose and Connor Welker from Cox Mill.