Area Sports Roundup: Lyerly leads regional; baseball playoffs resume

Published 11:51 pm Monday, May 16, 2022

From staff reports

Nick Lyerly (East Rowan, UNC Greensboro) shot 5-under 67 and sits atop the leaderboard after the first day of the three-round NCAA regional being held at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Lyerly, the Southern Conference Player of the Year, made seven birdies, nine pars and two bogeys in Monday’s round. He got started by making a 50-foot birdie putt on the first hole.

He birdied three straight holes at one point and moved to the top of the board on No. 10 and stayed there.

He’ll tee off today at 10:04 a.m.

High school baseball

East Rowan plays at South Rowan tonight at 7 p.m. in the third round of the 3A state playoffs.

There could not be a much bigger high school game. This is a season-ender for the loser, while the winner will be the favorite to reach the 3A state championship series.

South (24-4) and East (25-4) finished 1-2 in the NCHSAA’s 3A West RPI rankings. South earned the No. 1 seed in the bracket by winning against East in the South Piedmont Conference Tournament championship game. The teams split their regular-season meetings.

Probable starting pitchers tonight are UNC signee Cameron Padgett (10-0) for East and Wake Forest commit Haiden Leffew (8-1) for South.

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Seeded 14th in the 3A West bracket, Carson (18-10) will send Hayden Simmerson (6-5, 1.27 ERA, 109 strikeouts) to the mound at 11th-seeded East Lincoln (18-6) tonight in a 3A third-round contest.

Simmerson, a junior, has put together a monster two-way season. He’s not only been the ace pitcher for the Cougars, he leads Carson in just about every offensive category with a .349 batting average, 20 runs, 19 RBIs and 14 doubles.

College baseball

UNC freshman Vance Honeycutt (Salisbury) was named ACC Player of the Week.

Honeycutt batted .474 with three homers and seven RBIs for the week and stole three bases in one game.

Honeycutt is a special athlete. He’s the only player in Division I with the combination of at least 15 homers and at least 20 steals.

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Wingate is seeded second and Lenoir-Rhyne is seeded fourth in the double-elimination D-II Southeast Regional.

The Southeast Regional will be played at North Greenville and Wingate on May 19-22. The Bulldogs will host Columbus State, Young Harris and Belmont Abbey, while North Greenville will play host to Lenoir-Rhyne and UNC Pembroke.

Legion baseball

Rowan County American Legion baseball started practice on Sunday and will open the season with a non-conference doubleheader against Eastern Randolph at Newman Park this Saturday at 5 p.m.

Standard starting time will be 7 p.m.

About 20 players from West, Salisbury and North came out. They’ll get more from East and Carson. Those schools finished the high school season on Tuesday.

Jim Gantt, Seth Graham and Adam Patterson return as Legion coaches.

College softball

A grand slam by Mary Sobataka (West Rowan) helped UNC Wilmington beat Elon 10-2 for the Seahawks’ first Colonial Athletic Association championship.

UNC Wilmington (32-13) will play in the Clemson Regional (May 20-22) that also includes Auburn and Louisiana.

Junior college baseball

Caldwell Tech third baseman Cole Hales (Carson) is the Region 10 Player of the Year.

Hales is batting .335 with 61 runs, 39 RBIs and 40 walks (third nationally).

Hayden Setzer (East Rowan) is 8-0 with 66 strikeouts and has been dominant on the mound for the Cobras, who are headed for the D-III World Series.

Setzer was named second team All-Region 10.

High school soccer

In the first round of the 1A playoffs on Monday, North Rowan lost 9-0 at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

In the first round of the 3A playoffs, Carson lost 9-0 at unbeaten South Point, while West Rowan fell 7-0 at East Lincoln. Emily Kelly made 14 saves for the Falcons.

High school football

West Rowan running back Akin Robinson, Davie receiver Zaharee Maddox and A.L. Brown offensive linemen Erwil Anthony and Javaryon Bruton are part of the West roster for this summer’s East-West All-Star Game in Greensboro.

Former North Rowan and West Rowan head coach Joe Nixon, who now leads the Mooresville program, is one of the assistant coaches for the West team.

High school wrestling

Long-time East Rowan coach Barry Justus will be one of six inductees into the North Carolina Wrestling Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Chapel Hill on May 22.

High school softball

With all the Rowan County teams eliminated, the most interesting game locally will be the East Forsyth at Mooresville matchup tonight in the third round of the 4A state playoffs.

Several Mooresville girls, including pitcher Campbell Schaen, have competed for Rowan Little League at the state, regional and World Series levels.

Mooresville is 21-4, while East Forsyth is 23-1.

East Forsyth’s lefty pitcher Kierston Deal is an Oklahoma recruit and is one of the nation’s hardest throwers.

Little League softball

Rowan Little League will be hosting the Southeast Regional softball tournaments for the Junior and Senior divisions on July 22-24.

Owen White (Carson) had a strong outing on Saturday as Hickory topped Greensboro.
White (2-2) struck out seven in five innings. He allowed two runs.

CCC athletics

Salisbury edged West Davidson for the Cushwa Cup for overall athletic excellence.
The Hornets won eight outright conference championships (girls tennis, girls golf, boys soccer, football, girls basketball, girls swimming, boys tennis and boys track and field) and tied for first in boys basketball.
West Davidson won four outright CCC titles and tied for two more.
East Davidson was third overall and was followed by South Davidson, Lexington, North Rowan and Thomasville.

Local golf

In Sunday’s McCanless Couples Captain’s Choice event, Bev & Ty Cobb and James & Nancy Demeny took first place.

Second was the team of Crystal Clement, Larry Clifton, PDaber and Susan Wydner.

Clement had closest to the pin.

Nancy Demeny had longest putt.

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