Prep baseball: Roberson 7, Carson 0
By Ron Wagner
ASHEVILLE ó Rain has wreaked havoc on T.C. Roberson’s schedule this spring, but Friday in the first round of the 3A playoffs the visiting Carson Cougars found out that the bad weather hasn’t done anything to dull the Rams’ edge.
In their first game in two weeks, Roberson played nearly flawless baseball, getting a complete-game shutout from Western Carolina-bound lefty Adam Curtis and a three-run home run and four RBIs from lead-off batter Kevin Price in a 7-0 victory”They hit it when they needed to and capitalized off of our mistakes,” Carson coach Chris Cauble said. “When you don’t score, it’s kind of hard to win.”
Curtis allowed six hits and struck out 11, but the Cougars had their share of chances. Curtis only had one 1-2-3 inning ó the second ó but Carson could do nothing despite two walks, a hit batsman and six hits.
The Cougars stranded nine.
“We knew he was going to be a quality pitcher. We’ve got two or three quality left-handers in our league, so we felt kind of battle-tested,” Cauble said. “Hats off to him for making the pitches he did. He kept mixing it up and kept us off stride. We hit it good at times. We just didn’t bunch ’em together.”
Cougar starter Will Misenheimer faced the minimum through the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. Matt Fernandez reached on an error and Spencer Toth poked a single to lead things off.
One out later, Price lined a homer over the short right-center field fence.
Misenheimer rallied to get the next batter before walking Walker Rackley and Joel McKiethsen and giving up an RBI single to Curtis to make it 4-0.
The Rams tacked on two more in the fifth compliments of another walk, another bloop single and another error before Price’s RBI double in the sixth off of reliever Weston Snow set the final margin.
“They’re a quality team. They’ve been turning out Division I players for years,” Cauble said. “I wish it would have been a little bit closer. I don’t think the score showed how the game actually went.”
In addition to Curtis, Roberson right fielder Walter Rackley is headed to Western, while junior shortstop McKiethsen has already committed to Vanderbilt.
Carson, the fifth seed out of the NPC, ends the program’s third season at 15-10. Joseph Basinger and Zack Grkman led the Cougars with two hits apiece.
Roberson, the Mountain Athletic champion, improves to 18-4 and will play host to the Forestview-Hickory winner in the second round.