High school baseball: Carson’s season ends with one-run loss
Published 3:46 am Saturday, May 13, 2023
KINGS MOUNTAIN — Carson’s baseball team got stout hurling from Mikey Beasley and Hayden Simmerson and fought to the last pitch.
But the 27th-seeded Cougars lost to Kings Mountain 2-1 in Friday’s second round of the 3A state playoffs. Kings Mountain first baseman Jack Foley made an outstanding play to snag the final out in the top of the seventh. Carson had a runner at second base, and he would have scored the tying run.
The crafty Beasley maneuvered his way through 11th-seeded Kings Mountain’s lineup for four innings. The senior lefty allowed five hits and a walk and struck out five.
Almost all of the hits off Beasley came in the bottom of the first when the Mountaineers bunched four singles. They scored a run and would have gotten at least two, but Carson right fielder Austin Efird threw out a runner at the plate. Cameron Burleyson made the tag.
Kings Mountain starting pitcher Wyatt Davis struck out 13 in six innings, so the Cougars didn’t put many balls in play.
Kings Mountain maintained its 1-0 lead until the fourth when Catawba recruit Hayden Simmerson led off the inning with a clutch, game-tying homer over the center-field fence.
Simmerson took the mound for the fifth. He only threw 60 pitches in Tuesday’s first-round romp at Eastern Guilford, so after two days of rest, he was eligible to return to the mound on Friday. He struck out the side in the fifth, as Cougar fans roared, but he ran into trouble in the sixth.
That’s when Kings Mountain scored its second run. After a one-out walk and a single, Aiden Taylor, who went 3-for-3 for the Mountaineers, doubled to drive in the go-ahead run. Simmerson stranded runners at second and third to keep the deficit at 2-1.
Cody Russell led off the Carson seventh with a walk, and Efird executed on a sacrifice bunt. The Cougars battled on every at-bat, but closer Brayden Patrick, who threw 21 pitches in the seventh, got a strikeout before Foley made his game-ending play.
Carson closes the season, the first for head coach Kyle Bridges, with a 13-12 record.
Kings Mountain (19-5) will play at third-seeded West Henderson in the third round.