High school baseball: Carson tops Central Cabarrus; West falls

Published 5:48 pm Monday, April 10, 2023

Staff report

KANNAPOLIS — Carson has to be tired of seeing Central Cabarrus.

Central Cabarrus has to be even more tired of seeing Carson.

Carson rallied in the seventh inning to beat the Vikings 3-1 on Monday afternoon at Atrium Health Ballpark as the team battled for the third time in six days. This one won’t count in the South Piedmont Conference standings.

Weather issues reduced the much anticipated Easter baseball tournaments from three-day events to a one-day affairs, but Carson (8-7) was happy to get on the field and even happier to pull out another victory against the Vikings (3-9), who are tougher than their record indicates. None of Carson’s three wins over them were routine.

Daxton Savage, who relieved in the sixth inning, got credit for the pitching win. He was the only Cougar pitcher to give up a run, but he was in the right place at the right time when Carson rallied, and that’s how baseball rules work. Mikey Beasley pitched the bottom of the seventh to earn a save.

Emory Taylor didn’t earn a win or a save, but he did earn some pats on the back. He was the key to the win, shutting down Central Cabarrus for the first five innings.

Central got some good innings from starting pitcher Ethan Wolf and took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

But Carson responded in the top of the seventh. Jacob Efird was hit by a pitch and Cameron Burleyson drew a one-out walk.

Will Bradshaw’s single to right scored Efird and tied the game. Taylor’s RBI single put the Cougars ahead  2-1. They added another run after Savage bunted to move two runners, and Bradshaw scored on a passed ball.

Beasley had no problems in the bottom of the seventh and struck out two.

Paul Coubal had three of the Vikings’ five hits.

It’s a big South Piedmont Conference week for the Cougars. They play West Rowan at home on Tuesday and will travel to Mount Ulla to face the Falcons on Friday.


GRANITE QUARRY —  West Rowan’s baseball team dug such a deep hole that even a six-run sixth wasn’t enough to win at Staton Field.

The Falcons batted around in the sixth, but they were down 8-0 at that point and all they could do was make things interesting against Hickory Ridge.

The Bulls held on for the 8-6 victory in Monday action in the Davis Group Easter Tournament.

The plan was for three baseball-filled days for West Rowan, East Rowan, Hickory Ridge, Mount Pleasant, Lake Norman and Mooresville, but the action was reduced by weather to a single day. West played only the early game, while Mooresville played only the finale, but most of the teams did get in doubleheaders on Monday. East played the last two games of the event against Lake Norman and Mooresville.

West (9-5) has South Piedmont Conference games with Carson on Tuesday and Friday, so the Falcons didn’t employ Drew Burton, Corbin Bailey or Luke Graham on the mound. Maddox Moore, Alex O’Rourke, Eli Graham and Luke Ponczka hurled for the Falcons. Moore started and took the loss.

Hickory Ridge got a homer from Parker Lakey and two hits each from Anthony Umbach and Matt Keefover.

Down 8-0 going to the sixth, West got a rally started when Brice Knox was hit by a pitch and Luke Graham singled. Elijah Palmer lined out, but Matthew Connolly walked to load the bases.

Burton’s two-run double put the Falcons on the board. Cole Blevins got an infield hit to make it 8-3. Zach McNeely was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, and Ponczka walked to force home a run. After the second out, Knox walked to make it 8-5. Then Graham’s second hit of the inning made it 8-6, but with the bases loaded, the Bulls got the third out.

West went down 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Keely Furr and Matt Payne did the pitching for the Bulls, with Payne getting the last five outs.

Hickory Ridge (13-4) beat Mount Pleasant 5-4 in the second game of the day.  Bowen Powell had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh.