University High took the first game 7-2 over North Greene behind 12 strikeouts from Michael Degennero and Brant Hare’s two-run home run in the fourth inning.
In the second game, Sullivan North got a combined no-hitter from Braydon Wilhoit and Hunter Dingus to win over Unaka, 10-1.
The Bucs were superb at the plate with two outs, scoring all of their runs and going 4-for-9 as a team with runners in scoring position. UH churned out 10 hits and struck out just four times as a team.
“We stay composed at the plate and the boys did a good job today,” UH head coach Josh Petty said.
Hare finished 2-for-4 with the homer and a single, collecting two RBIs. Carter Pollock was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and RBIs.
“I knew he had a good curveball, so I just waited on the fastball and got it,” Hare said. “We always try to keep it rolling with two outs and we try to take advantage.”
Cade Pollock, Henry Borthwick and Jacob Pealer also recorded RBIs for the Bucs.
Degennero was masterful on the mound after the opening two innings as he retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced. The three hits he allowed on the day all came in the first two innings.
He says he started to find his groove with a nasty curveball after the second frame.
“I tried to focus on placing my curveball a little better,” Degennero said. “I was able to control it more and get it for a strike in the later innings. Overall, I got in a good groove and was able to focus the rest of the game.”
Cayden Foulks was the only Husky to record a RBI. Chance Campbell, Turner Bailey and Jonah Palmer had the hits for North Greene — all singles.
PITCHING RULES FOR NORTH
The stellar pitching for the Golden Raiders showed up again in the win over Unaka.
Wilhoit was brilliant in his 5 ⅔ innings of work, throwing just 72 pitches and striking out four. He did walk three batters, however, and Dingus came in to shut the door with just 13 pitches in the last inning and change.
“We’ve had good pitching all year and we just took Braydon out for pitch-count reasons,” North head coach Steve Dixon said. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting runners in. The last week or week and a half, we’ve been leaving a ton of runners on. That won’t work in the tournament.”
The Raiders left 10 runners on and were 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Wilhoit and Chandler Raleigh each had three RBIs while Tyler DePriest had two.
Surprisingly, the Raiders did not have an extra-base hit in the game, finishing with eight singles. They also drew eight walks and had four hit batters.
The pitching staff for Unaka of Lucas Carr, Joe Slagle and Nick Nunley struck out just three batters.
Daniel Ensor recorded the lone RBI for the Rangers, producing a ground-out that scored Bryson Street from third.
The Bucs and Raiders will meet in the winners’ bracket while Unaka will face North Greene. Both games will be played on Monday evening.