North gets big baseball win

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHALLOTTE—North Davidson’s baseball players could have made guest appearances on “The Sopranos,” because the Black Knights have a lot of hit men.

North pounded out 10 hits in five innings on their way to a 15-2 victory over West Brunswick Monday night in the title game of the Touchstone Energy Beach Diamond Invitational Baseball Tournament.

The Black Knights, ranked No. 1 in the state among 4A schools, lived up to their billing. Four North players are already college baseball-bound: Pitcher Zach White has signed to play at Wake Forest next year, second baseman Tyler Hanover at Louisiana State and pitcher Clay Watson at Catawba, while junior shortstop Levi Michael has made a verbal commitment to North Carolina.

White and Watson made the all-Beach Diamond Invitational team, along with West Brunswick’s Ethan Cox and Pat Kamfolt.

“It was a real good team playing a team that wasn’t very good Monday night,” said West coach Mike Alderson. “We didn’t play up to our potential. It seemed like we were a little timid about playing those guys.”

The Black Knights, unbeaten in nine games this season, scored five runs in the first inning on a double by Michael and three singles.

“We came out and swung the bats finally and hit the ball the way we’re capable of,” said North coach Mike Meadows. “We put a 5-spot on them in the first, but they answered in the second.”

West’s designated hitter Jay Gause doubled off the right-center-field fence to put runners on second and third, and Seth Roberts, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, drilled a base hit up the middle to score two.

“I was impressed with the sophomore DH (Gause),” Meadows said. “He can hit it, and he can pitch.”

Gause came in to pitch in the top of the fifth and recorded 3-up, 3-down with two strikeouts.

But North had put the game away with three runs in the third as winning pitcher Zach Joyce and Michael notched RBIs, and seven runs in the fourth on three West errors and three hits, including a 2-RBI triple to right field by Michael and a 2-RBI double to center field by White.

The Trojans managed five hits, including two by Roberts and one each by Joey Granados, Logan Tripp and Gause.

“When you face pitching like they have, that’s the kind of pitching you’re going to see in the playoffs,” Alderson said. “And for us to make it deep in the playoffs, our kids need to see that.”

Seeing North’s defense, hitting and base-running also can help.

“It gives our kids an opportunity to see what they need to strive for,” Alderson said.

The Black Knights’ team and parents stayed at the Ocean Isle Inn.

“We love coming down here,” Meadows said. “You go to a tournament to play a great team, or you play in a beautiful park. This had a little of both.

“We’ll pick up the paper at the end of the year, and West will be one of the last ones playing.”

ND 503 70—15 10 1

WB 020 00—2 5 4

WP—Zach Joyce. LP—Aaron Evans.

Leading hitters. WB—Roberts 2-for-2 , Gause 2B. ND—Michael 2-for-3 (2B, 3B), Hanover 1-for-2, Albright 3-for-3.