Friday, June 8, 2012

Change Coming to Pfeiffer's Conference

I read a report last week in the Charlotte Observer from David Scott, talking about the announcement posted on the South Atlantic Conference website on Wednesday that Queens and Coker are leaving Conference Carolinas starting with the 2013-14 season.

As a PA announcer for basketball at Pfeiffer (a member of the conference since 1960) for part or all of 17 seasons, this really saddens me to see two teams that have been good competition for the Falcons over the years.

Coker has been a treat over the years on the hardwood to see, particularly because of one man: Dan Schmotzer.  His fiery persona on the court belies a man that always shakes my hand when he sees me. Coach always finds a way to bust my chops and does it so well that I can't do anything but sit there and laugh.  The conversations he has with officials border on stand-up comedy, and that loud raspy voice is one that I would recognize anywhere in the world. If Coker was not so far away from here, I would pay my hard-earned money to see Coker play and watch him coach.

When you talk about rivalries with Pfeiffer, one team has always been at the forefront: Queens.

The Pfeiffer-Queens rivalry has provided fans at the old "Oven" in Charlotte and Merner Gym here in Stanly County some intense, emotional moments. The heated exchanges between fans of both schools mirrored the spirited action on the courts and fields of competition.

I remember a T-shirt that the Pfeiffer bookstore used to sell that had three teams listed on it with the following phrases next to them:  The Good (Pfeiffer), The Bad (Queens) and the Ugly (Belmont Abbey).

I am sure that the two school might still play games against each other, but personally, it would not be as good without the implications of being in conference play. It would be like the New York Jets leaving the AFC East Division; they may still play my Dolphins, but it would not mean as much as if it were in division play (look what happened to the long-standing Colts-Dolphins rivalry; when the Baltimore Colts moved to Indy and then to the AFC Central, the games lost some of their importance and rivalry).

All Division II conferences are required to have 10 teams, and losing Queens and Coker will drop Conference Carolinas down to 10 teams, meaning that one more school out and the conference would have problems.

I also read in Scott's story that one of the reasons that Coker and Queens were accepted into the SAC was that they will consider fielding football teams in the future.

I admit that I was initially against the idea of adding new college football teams locally, like UNC-Charlotte or elsewhere, just from the standpoint that it would dilute the current D-II programs in the area, but I have changed my mind. More teams mean more chances for local players to play football in this area without having to give up the dream of playing in college.

It would be awesome to think that somewhere down the line I could find myself announcing football games for my alma mater, but if not, I still love my time at the basketball scorers' table.

But I will miss Coker and Queens.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 7

1. Pipkin flies out to left (Gallagher makes a running basket catch)
2. Forbes flied out to first base in foul territory.
3. Russell walks
4. Tillery struck out swinging.

It's over!!

South Stanly rules the 1A softball and baseball world in 2012!!!

Bot 6

1. Steely Russell grounded out to second base.
2. Gallagher doubled down the right-field line
3. Poplin reached on an error, Gallagher scored, Poplin gets to third. 7-2 South
4. Thompson reaches on a fielder's choice, Poplin back to the bag at third.
5. Carpenter struck out looking.
6. Leary (reenters) and doubles to the fence in right-center field, Poplin and Thompson scored, 9-2 South.
7. C. Russell walks.
8. Culp grounded out to a fielder's choice to third base.

Three outs to the 1A state title!

Top 6

1. Barnes singled, and stole second base.
2. Lewis sacrifice bunted Barnes to third.
3. Cutrell sac bunted to third base, Barnes scored, 6-2 South.
4. McDaniels struck out swinging.

Camden has the heart of their order up in the seventh.

Bottom 5

1. Carpenter grounded out to second base (close play at first)
2. Leary singled to left field, reached second on a wild pitch.
2a. Madison Hicks in as a pinch runner, reached third on a wild pitch.
3. Smith walked, Clancy Russell in as a pinch runner, stole second base.
4. Martin RBI single, Hicks scores, Russell to third, 6-1 South.
4a. Chesley Culp in for Martin at first base.
5. Emily Hearne pinch hits, hits a line drive to third base for the out, third baseman doubles up Russell at third, inning over.

Top 5

1. Forbes walked.
2. Russell flied out to center field.
3. Jones grounds into a fielder's choice, Forbes out at second base.
4. Gillikin walked, Jones to second.
4a. Odd play...Jones lead off of second, then crumpled to the dirt with an apparent ankle injury. Gray threw to short to tag Jones out.  Jones is still down on the dirt.

South still leads 5-1 going to the bottom of the fifth.

Bot 4

1. Starnes popped out to second base.
2. S. Russell singled to left field.
2a. Russell stole second base.
3. Gallagher RBI single to left, Russell scored, 4-1 South Stanly.
4. Poplin flied out to left field.
4a. Gallagher stole second base.
5. Thompson singled to right field, Gallagher scored, 5-1 South Stanly.
5a. Thompson picked off of first base (not sure why, looked like Thompson beat the throw back.

Bulls take a 5-1 lead.

Top 4

1. Barnes struck out swinging (7 K's for Steely Russell)
2. Lewis struck out swinging (8)
3. Cutrell walked.
4. Anderson grounded to short, Leary threw from her knees, throw went down the line into the photog box,Cutrell to third, Anderson to second.(hit and and error to second)
5. Pipkin singled to center field, Cutrell scored, Anderson thrown out at the plate, runs into Gray at the plate, she is still down.

1 R, 2 hits, 1 error, Camden gets on the board, but the concern now is for Anderson's health, she is down laying at home plate.

Bot 3

1. Poplin singled to right-center field.
2. Thompson singled to short stop on a slow roller, Poplin to second.
3. Carpenter slap bunts to short, throw went down the line, Poplin scored, Thompson back to third.
4. Leary grounded out to short, Thompson caught between third and home, tagged out, Carpenter reached third.
5. Smith walked, stole second base.
6. Martin pops up to second.

1 R, 2 hits, 1 error.  South now leads 3-0.

Throw on Carpenter's play went into the photographer's box, so it was called a dead ball and Thompson had to go back to third base.

Top 3

1. Pipkin singled to center field.
2. Forbes reached first on an error (bunt bobbled by Leary at third). Pipkin
3. Russell hits a ground ball to third, shallow, Leary no play anywhere, base hit. Pipkin to third, Forbes to second.
4. Jones lines out to second base to Poplin, who doubled up Russell at first for the double play.
5. Gillikin struck out swinging.

What a heads-up play by the senior Poplin, then Russell battled and got Gillikin out with two rise balls.

Bot 2

1. Starnes lined out to first base in foul territory (swung at a bad pitch)
2. Russell grounds out to second base.
3. Gallagher grounds out to second base.

1-2-3 in the second, South leads 2-0. The crowd in this game is reacting to every pitch, every swing.

Top 2

1. Gillkin reached first on an error (ground ball to third).
2. Barnes struck out looking.
3. Lewis sacrifice bunt to Leary at third, out at first, Gillikin to second base.
4. Cutrell reaches first due to catcher's interference.
5. Anderson struck out swinging.

0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, two left on base.

Russell danced out of trouble in that inning, going to 2-2 before striking out the Bruins' leadoff hitter.

Bot 1

1. Gallagher grounded out to first base.
2. Poplin singled to center field (high pop fly in front of the center fielder, she dove but didn't come up with it.
3. Thompson singled up the middle through Gillikin's legs, Poplin to second.
4. Carpenter singled on a slap bunt to third base, Poplin to third, Thompson to second.
5. Leary RBI sacrifice fly to center field, Poplin scored.
6. Smith RBI single to center field, Thompson scored, Carpenter to third on the throw.
7. Martin grounds out to second base.

Two run on four hits, no errors, two left on.

South Stanly takes a 2-0 lead after one inning.

Top 1

1. Anderson struck out looking.
2. Pipkin walked (nice at bat, fouled off several pitches before taking a pitch inside)
3. Forbes struck out swining
4. Russell singles to left field (sharp line drive).
5. Jones struck out looking.

Two left on, no runs...South coming to the plate.

More Pregame

Thanks to the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department for providing the pregame meal for the press box. The facility has been prisitine for the games this weekend and the fields are in tremendous shape.

Camden is taking infield right now...while South was taking infield, a large group of black T-shirt clad medal-wearing state championship baseball players walked in, much the same way that the softball team came to the South baseball game yesterday evening. As the girls got when they walked into Durham Bulls Athletic Park yesterday, the South Stanly boys got a standing ovation from the fans and some noticeable looks from the Camden contingent.

Coaches' meeting just time is imminent!

South Stanly vs. Camden County Pregame

Another beautiful sunny cool Carolina afternoon at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex in Raleigh.

South Stanly is warming up in the outfield of Field Three and looks very loose at this point, relaxed enough to include a little dancing.  Camden County is warming up on a neighboring field since there are only two Game Threes here today (Foard and Aycock playing in the 3A final on Field Five).

A large number of South fans are in attendance already, 45 minutes before the start of the game. Many of the fans have the look of the weary traveler after being on the road since Friday afternoon.

The South baseball team stayed over in Raleigh last night to support the softball squad just as the girls did after their game Saturday afternoon. In fact, in the second inning,

Here are today's starting lineups for the game (South Stanly won the coin toss and is the home team).

For the visitors, the Camden County Bruins:

1) 2B, #6 Hailee Anderson
2) CF, #4 Kara Pipkin
3) SS, #10 Erin Forbes
4) 3B, #2 Lindsay Russell
5) 1B, #4 Alexis Jones
6) P, #1 Rachel Gillikin
7) LF, #11 Erica Barnes
8) C, #2 Kayley Lewis
9) RF,#22 Jordan Cuthrell

For South Stanly:
1) LF, #1 Ali Gallagher
2) 2B, #4 Emily Poplin
3) DP, #8 Erin Thompson
4) CF, #1 Haley Carpenter
5) 3B, #12 Lacey Leary
6) 1B, #9 Allison Smith
7) RF, #13 Meredith Martin
8) SS, #11 Haley Starnes
9) P, #10 Steely Russell
and in the flex position, playing catcher, #5 Taylor Gray.

A change in the lineup from yesterday for South as Carpenter moves up into the cleanup position, moving Leary to the five-spot and Smith to sixth.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bottom 7

1. Jones flies out to right (long run for Ford, made a great play)
2. Batten struck out looking
3. Sykes doubles down past a diving Golden in left field.
4. Sanders grounds out to first base!

South wins the 1A title!

Top 7

1. Short singled to left field.
1a. Short stole second base.
2. Starnes blooops single over second baseman's head, Short scores, 5-1 South.
2a. Starnes reaches third on a wild pitch.
3. Smith line drive to first base, caught with the infield in.
4. Weiker RBI single through the drawn-in infield, Starnes scored, 6-1 South.
5. Ford grounds out to short, Weiker to second.
6. Poplin grounds out to second base.

Two more runs for South, Bulls lead the Vikings 6-1 going to the bottom of the seventh.

Voyager has gotten standing ovations from their fans every time they have come off the field...nice!

Bot 6

1. Stone flied out to center field (long run for Short).
2. Kornegay struck out swinging.
3. Olimpo walked.
4. Lemoine grounds out to the pitcher.

South three outs away from a state title!

Top 6

1. Lisk flies out to center field.
2. Golden struck out swinging.
3. Wallace flies out to right field.

Bottom 5

1. Sykes struck out looking (7th strikeout for Blackmon).
2. Sanders ground out to third (Wallace made a great play look so easy).
3. Coates struck out swinging.

South leads 4-1 through five innings.

Top 5

1. Wallace walks
2. Short reached on an error (high fly ball to left field, dropped by left fielder), Wallace scampers to second.
3. Starnes single to right (fly ball over right fielder's head directly into the sun)
4. Smith struck out swinging at a very high pitch.
5. Weiker hits ground ball up the middle with the infield in, Wallace and Short scored, Starnes to second.
6. Ford popped up in the infield (infield fly rule).
7. Poplin flies out to center field for the third out.

South picks up two runs, leads 4-1 going bottom 5.

Weiker is now 3-3 with a 3B and three RBIs.

Bot 4

1. Olimpo grounds out to short (Poplin with a great throw, Starnes with a great stretch at first)
2. Lemoine walked
2a. Lisk dove over the wall to catch one...Poplin picked him up with one hand.
3. Jones struck out swinging.
4. Batten struck out swinging.

Blackmon battled that inning...the last strikeout was huge.

Top 4

1. Starnes walked
2. Smith sacrifice bunt (nice play by the first baseman).
3. Weiker long fly ball to center field, RBI triple, Starnes scored, 1-1.
4. Ford RBI infield hit to deep shortstop, Weiker scores, 2-1 South Stanly.
5. Poplin tried to bunt for a hit to third place, close play, out, Ford to second base.
6. Lisk ground ball to short stop, beats the wrap at first base.
7. Golden long fly ball to the gap in left-center field, nice catch by the center fielder.

Two runs, 3 hits, no errors.

South Stanly takes the lead 2-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

Bot 3

1. Batten struck out looking.
2. Sykes walked.
3. Sanders reached on an error (a bad throw, another error, got Sykes to third).
4. Coates RBI double to right-center field, Sykes scored, 1-0 Voyager.
5. Stone grounds out to third base.
6. Kornegay struck out swinging.

Voyager takes a lead 1-0 on an unearned run.

Coach Tucker huddled the team out in front of the dugout for a pow wow.

Top 3

1. Golden struck out.
2. Wallace struck out
3. Short flied out to right.

Bot 2

On Kornegay's atbat, Connor Ford spilled into the stands trying to catch a fly ball...he got up and went back to his position.

1. Kornegay slow roller to third base for a base hit.
2. Olimpo popped out to second base.
3. Lemoine struck out swinging.
4. Jones lined out to first base (a play only big ole' Starnes could make).

No score through two.

Top 2

1. Smith popped out to the pitcher.
2. Weiker singled to left-center field.
3. Ford doubled to the Big Blue Monster in left field, Weiker to third.
4. Poplin struck out.
5. Lisk grounds out to short.

Nice play by the Voyager shortstop, Bulls have left four runners on in two innings.

Bottom 1

1. Sykes called out on strikes.
2. Sanders grounds out to short.
3. Coates hit by a pitch (barely moved).
4. Stone grounds out to third base.

Nice defensive plays by Poplin at shot and Wallace at third.

No score after one inning.

Top 1

1. Lisk pops out to the shortstop
2. Golden grounds out to second base.
3. Wallace walks
4. Short grounds a ball deep to shortstop, no throw.
5. Starnes grounds out to short.

South is wearing their camo for this game, Voyager in the all-white uniforms with red lettering.

Game Two of Baseball

Here are the starting lineups for Game Two:

South Stanly (visitors)
Lisk 2B
Golden C
Wallace 3B
Short CF
Starnes 1B
Smith DH
Weiker LF
Ford RF
Poplin SS
pitching for the Bulls, Heath Blackmon.

Voyager (home)
Sykes 2B
Sanders RF
Coates C
Stone P
Kornegay 3B
Olimpo SS
Lemoine 1B
Jones LF
Batten CF

Bottom 7

1. Forbes singled to left field.
2. Russell flied out to short.
3. Lisk fouled out to the catcher (GREAT PLAY)
4. Gillikin struck out.

South wins 2-0...on to Game 3 Sunday at 1 p.m.

Top 7

1. Leary grounds out to short stop (shortstop bobbled it, then threw to first).
2. Smith base hit over the second baseman's head.
2a. Culp pinch runs for Smith.
3. Carpenter slap-hit single over the third baseman's head, Culp to second base.
4. After both runners advance a base on a wild pitch, Meredith Martin sends a line drive just fair down the left-field line, Culp and Carpenter score, 2-0 South Stanly.
5. Clancy Russell pinch hit, singles to center, Martin thrown out at the plate.
6. Steely Russell flies out to right field.

Two runs, three hits, no errors...South takes a 2-0 lead.

Bottom 6

1. Lewis struck out swinging.
2. Cottrell flied out to the pitcher.
3. Anderson singled to left field (line drive, ended a string of 16 straight batters retired)
4. Pipkin struck out.

Eight strike outs for Russell through six innings of worked.

Top 6

1. Gallagher grounded out to the pitcher.
2. Poplin grounded out to second base.
3. Thompson line out to first base.

The first team that makes a mistake in the field may be the winner of this game.

Bottom 5

1. Jones grounds out to the pitcher.
2. Gillikin flies out to short.
3. Barnes grounds out to the pitcher.

Top 5

1. Martin popped out to second base (nice play by Anderson over her head).
2. Starnes popped out to second base.
3. Russell grounded out to short stop.

Bottom 4

1. Pipkin strike out swinging.
2. Forbes grounds out to second base.
3. Russell flies out to center field.

No score after four innings.

Top 4

1. Thompson walked
2. Leary flied to third base in foul territory.
3. Smith flies to third base in foul territory.
4. Carpenter grounds out to third base.

Gillikin's rise ball has a spin on it that seems to be getting pop fly outs to the right side of the diamond, especially in this inning.

Bottom 3

1. Lewis strikes out swinging.
2. Anderson pops out to short (nice play by Haley Starnes running to her right).
3. Pipkin lines out to the pitcher.

Each team with just one hit through three innings.

Top 3

1. Steely Russell grounds out to third base.
2. Gallagher grounds out to first.
3. Poplin grounds out to first.

A pitchers' duel so far.

Bot 2

1.Jones struck out swinging.
2. Gillikin fouls out to the catcher.
3. Barnes strikes out swinging.

No score through two.

Top 2

1. Smith flies out to center field.
2. Carpenter singles to right field (liner just looped over the head of the first baseman)
2a. Carpenter stole second.
3. Martin grounds out to short, Carpenter to third.
4. Starnes flies out to center.

0 runs, 1 hit, 1 left on.  Carpenter got a great jump from first base.
1. Anderson grounds out to the pitcher.
2. Pipkin flies a ball to right field in front of Meredith Martin, a single.
3. Forbes struck out swinging on a high rise ball.
4. Russell struck out swinging.

Russell has had good control so far, got two nice strikeouts on high pitches.

Top 1

1. Gallagher grounds out to shortstop.
2. Emily Poplin hits a hard line drive at the pitcher; Gillikin throw to first is low, Poplin safe, error charged.
3. Thompson grounds out to the pitcher, Poplin to second.
4. Leary lines out to second base.

No runs, one error and one left on base.

Gillikin has good movement on her pitching.  We will see how South's defense responds after the problems from last game.

Game Two Pregame

The South Stanly softball team will be the visiting team in Game Two starting at 2:30 p.m today.

Weather is absolutely perfect here in Raleigh at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex.  Temperature is XX degrees and a wonderful cool breeze is prevalent on Field #3.

Here are the starting lineups.

First for the visiting South Stanly rebel Bulls.

1) LF, #2 Ali Gallagher
2) 2B, #4 Emily Poplin
3) DP, #8 Erin Thompson
4) 3B, #12 Lacey Leary
5) 1B, #9 Allison Smith
6) CF, #1 Haley Carpenter
7) RF, #13 Meredith Martin
8) SS, #11 Haley Starnes
9) P, #10 Steely Russell
and the flex/catcher position, #5 Taylor Gray.

For the home-team Camden County Bruins.
1) 2B, #6 Hailee Anderson
2) CF, #5 Kara Pipkin
3) SS, #10 Erin Forbes
4) 3B, #2 Lindsay Russell
5) 1B, #4 Alexis JOnes
6) P, #13 Rachel Gillikin
7) LF, #11 Erica Barnes
8) C, #12 Kayley Lewis
9) RF, #22 Jordan Cottrell

Game On!

South Softball loses Game One

Errors plagued the South Stanly softball team in an 11-4 loss in their opening game of the 2012 1A state finals today.

Rachel Gillikan allowed three earned runs in the win for the Bruins, while Emily Hearne suffered her first loss of the season for the Bulls.

Allison Smith led South at the plate, going 2-3, while Emily Poplin was 2-4 and Haley Starnes was 1-3 with a two-RBI single.

Three of the Bruins' first four runs of the game were unearned.

Game Two of the series starting at 2:30 today...will be blogging live from it!

Top 5

1. Kornegay walks (second walk issued by Russ)
2. Olimpo flied out to second base.
3. Matt Jones (in fore the injured 3B) struck out
4. Lemoine walks
5. (with the South fans on their feet) Lemoine picked off, South wins 13-0.

Russ Weiker throws a five-inning no-hitter for the victory.

On to softball!!!

Bottom 4

1. Lisk grounds out to the first baseman.
2. Golden singles to right field.
3. Wallace hits a screaming line drive to third base, hits third baseman Dillon Vincent in the right leg, he is down on the field.
4. Grayson Short hits a three-run bomb over the Green Monster-height blue-colored fence in left field, 10-0 South.
5. Jordan Starnes walks.
6. Austin Smith hit by a pitch (second time he has been plunked), Starnes to second.
7. Russ Weiker grounds out to first base, Starnes to third, Smith to second.
8. Connor Ford doubles to right-center field, Starnes and Smith score, 12-0 South Stanly.
9. Chase Poplin  RBI double, Ford scored, 13-0 South.
10. J.P. Lisk pops out to short, inning over.

6 runs in the bottom of the fourth.  Voyager has to score four runs to keep this game going or the 10-run rule will end it.
1. Coates Sanders pops out to third base.
2. Stone struck out swinging.
3. Kornegay pops out to second base.

Weiker has eight strikeouts through his first four innings of work.

Bottom 3

1. Wallace on a ground ball to short, throw pulls first baseman off the bag, ruled a hit (would have been a spectacular play if completed).
2. Short sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, Wallace to second base.
3. Starnes hits a high fly ball, drops in front of three players, Wallace had to hold the bag at second, gets to third.
4. Austin Smith struck out swinging.
5. Russ Weiker singles to center field, Wallace and Starnes scored, 5-0.
6. Connor Ford doubles off the wall in center field, Trenten Weathers scored. 6-0 South (Ford reaches third on the throw).
6a. Wild Pitch, Ford scores, 7-0 South.
7. Poplin grounds out to the pitcher.

Four runs in the inning, 7-0 South Stanly after three innings.

Top 3

1. Lemoine strikes out on a 3-2 offspeed pitch.
2. Batten strikes out looking on four pitches.
3. Sykes grounded out to third base on a slow roller (nice play by Wallace).

Bottom 2

1. Connor Ford flied out to center.
2. Chase Poplin grounds out to short (after fouling off several pitches)
3. J.P. Lisk hit by a pitch in the back of the helmet (may have caught him a little in the neck)
4. Mykel Golden grounds out to second base (nice play by second baseman Sanders, the grounder was deep in the hole between first and second).

Through two innings, 3-0 South Stanly.

Top 2

1. Kornegay struck out swinging.
2. Olimpo struck out swinging.
3. Coates struck out looking.

Weiker looks very impressive to start this game. His control is good and the umpire's strike zone is fairly sizeable.

Bottom 1st

1. J.P. Lisk doubles over the right fielder's head.
2. Mykel Golden RBI single to center field, Lisk scores, 1-0 South Stanly.
3. Stephen Wallace doubles to left field, Golden scores (throw high), Wallace reaches third on the throw, 2-0 South Stanly.
4. Grayson Short pops a high fly into short left field, it falls between the second baseman and right fielder, goes as an RBI double, Wallace scores, 3-0 South.
4a. Short picked off at second base.
5. Jordan Starnes strikes out.
6. Austin Smith hit by a pitch.
7. Russ Weiker called out on strikes.

3 R, 4 hits, 0 E, 1 left on.  3-0 South Stanly.

Lisk really put a charge into that ball; Wallace's double was hit hard and curled away from the left fielder, also reaching the fence.

Top 1st

1. Sykes walked
2. Sanders struck out swinging.
3. Sykes stole second base
4. Coates struck out swinging (Blackmon throws to first to complete the out)
5. Stone flied out to right.

0 R, 0 hit, 1 left on base...

Beautiful Morning at Durham Bulls Athletic Park

It's a crisp, cool Saturday morning at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the field is in good shape for the opening game of the state 1A baseball playoff series between the visitors for this game, Voyager Academy, and the home team for Game One, South Stanly.

I just got through walking on the field and it is a little wet but kudos to the DBAP grounds crew for keeping the field in good condition through the overnight storms that swept through the Triangle.

Something called sunshine, which was in short supply yesterday, is softly warming the field up for what should be a interesting series between a very young Vikings squad and the veteran Rowdy Rebel Bulls.

Here are today's starting lineups for Game One.

First, for Voyager Academy:

1) P, #26 Chad Sykes
2) RF, # 2 John Sanders
3) C, #10 Hunter Coates
4) SS, #20 Loy Stone
5) CF, #12, Kiki Kornegay
6) 2B, #13, Jake Olimpo
7) 3B, #22 Dillon Vincent
8) 1B, #9 A.J. Lemoine
9) LF, #4 Nick Batten

For South Stanly:

1) 2B, #3 J.P. Lisk
2) LF, #11 Mykel Golden
3) 3B, #4 Stephen Wallace
4) CF, #10 Grayson Short
5) 1B, #12 Jordan Starnes
6) DH, #2 Austin Smith
7) P, #15 Russ Weiker
8) RF, #5 Connor Ford
9) SS, #1 Chase Poplin
and playing catcher, #9 Heath Blackmon.

The Dawn Breaks for South Stanly

For the third time in four seasons, I am sitting in a motel room in the eastern part of the state with the baseball team from South Stanly waiting for an early-morning game.

The differences this time are that the softball team is also in the same hotel and is looking for a state title of their own in Raleigh.

As much of a scourge to the baseball industry that precipitation can be, rain gave all the baseball and softball teams another day to think about what is ahead of them.

Only this time, the contingent from Stanly County is a lot bigger, possibly a little bit louder in the courtyard/pool area and definitely excited for the games ahead.

This time, South Stanly looks to become just the third team in the history of fast-pitch softball and baseball to sweep both championships in the same year.

More importantly, for a group of seniors on both teams, who have played ball together most of their lives, will play their final high school games this week.

There is a certain finality that comes with playing in the state finals as your last game of the season.

For every athlete that has played in a state final in their sport, there are innumerable ones that will never get the opportunity to do that.

I often talk about the vast number of state championships that are available in the four state classifications in North Carolina, including the eight football champions in a subdivided playoffs that is just too many, in my opinion.

Four state champions per sport per season out of the approximately 400 high schools that compete in the NCHSAA is roughly one percent, which is a nice round figure.

If you are in the top one percent of your class or industry, that normally puts you among the elite.

For those players, coaches and fans that will make their way across the state to Durham Athletic Park and Walnut Creek Softball Complex to support the Bulls, there is only going to be one state champion, hopefully with a Bulls’ mascot on the jerseys.

I know that there will be many of you that can’t get to the game today, which is one of the reasons that my beautiful wife Laura and I are here.

We will be tweeting and blogging from baseball this morning at 11 a.m., as well as giving you updates that I will get from the first game of the softball series, also at 11 a.m.

After South Stanly and Voyager finish their first game, we will be making our way over to Raleigh to the softball complex for game two of the South – Camden County softball series.

Immediately following that game, we head back to Durham for the 5 p.m. second game of the baseball series.

Should any of the South series need to go to a third and deciding game, they would be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. and we will be there.

Hot waffles, CNN on the TV and foreboding gray skies have greeted us all this morning, but hopefully we can get some games in today.

My Twitter ID is @charles_curcio; please follow me today and possibly tomorrow for the latest on the games and the possibility of bad weather, the first of which we want to see and the other that can come again another day.

Along with photographers and other people, I will be working hard to bring you the info on the games, with Tuesday’s print edition hopefully to have pictures, stories, quotes and more from today's games.

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 1, 2012

South Baseball will be tomorrow at 11am

South Stanly Baseball will start tomorrow at 11am.
In Durham at the Bulls Athletic Park...South Stanly softball cancelled to tomorrow due to rain.
Just got word that South Stanly baseball will have a game start time of 6:30 due to rain that has not started yet.