High school baseball: 9 to 5, Padgett puts in a day’s work

Published 12:09 am Saturday, March 18, 2023


Staff report

GRANITE QUARRY — Five earned runs. Eleven hits allowed.

Friday afternoon’s game at Staton Field didn’t do much for Morgan Padgett’s pitching stats, but he wasn’t too worried about that.

The object is to win the game, and it’s a heck of a lot better to win a high-scoring one than to lose 1-0.

East got an unexpectedly tough fight from a Lake Norman Charter team that the Mustangs had smashed for 20 runs on Tuesday, but Padgett weathered a few storms and got them through it.

The big right-hander, who is headed to UNC Pembroke, went the distance in a 9-5 victory. He’s 2-1 for the season. The loss was on East’s trip to Georgia.

The victory kept East tied for first in the South Piedmont Conference after the opening week. East is even with West Rowan and Carson. West won two big ones against Northwest Cabarrus, which has excellent pitchers. Carson had no trouble at all with Concord, breezing twice with shutouts against what is expected to be the last-place team.

The only split was between South Rowan and Central Cabarrus. South had one bad inning and is 1-1 instead of 2-0.

East led 2-0 early in a game moved to the afternoon to beat the weather, but Lake Norman Charter rallied for three runs in the third.

East (6-2, 2-0)  tied it 3-all in the bottom of the third. Then the Mustangs put together a decisive five-run fourth.

Cobb Hightower went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. His second homer of the season was the biggest blow for the Mustangs.

Padgett helped himself at the dish with a double and two RBIs. Blake Hill also had a double and knocked in a run.

East was out-hit 11-7, but stole seven bases. East was flawless defensively, while Lake Norman Charter (3-3, 0-2) made three errors.

Padgett only struck out two, but he didn’t walk a batter. That’s how he was able to survive 11 hits. He threw only 74 pitches.