New Hanover 8 Mooresville 5
Trailing by two midway through the ball game, New Hanover used a four-run rally in the top of the fourth and Cory Everett delivered an insurance run with a solo home run as the Wildcats held on to 8-5 victory over Mooresville late Wednesday afternoon.
New Hanover picked up its eighth straight win and advanced to its first championship game in the decade-long Ashley High School Spring Break Tournament sponsored by Coastal Athletics.
Max Johnson went 3-for-3, Lambert Long had three hits and Ward Coleman finished 2-for-2 at the plate to pace a Wildcats’ lineup that finished with 13 hits.
With New Hanover in front after a scoring a pair of runs in their first at-bat, the Blue Devils got one back in the bottom of the first and Anthony Fucci hit a three-run round tripper in the bottom of the second to give Mooresville a 4-2 lead.
The Wildcats scored two in the top of the first thanks to a fielders’ choice and throwing error, while Trey Croom grinded his way on the mound to earn the win.
New Hanover missed an opportunity in the top of the third after three straight walks to start the frame were followed by three straight strikeouts to keep the deficit at 4-2.
Following a one-two-three inning with two strikeouts by Croom in the bottom of the third, the Wildcats plated four in the fourth.
The Blue Devils were able to get within one headed into the fifth, but Everett answered with a solo shot to left as New Hanover added one more run in the sixth to secure back-to-back results in as many days.
The Wildcats play Reagan in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Mooresville takes on the loser of Ashley in the third-place consolation game at 4:30 p.m.
Box score R H E
NHHS 200 411 0 8 13 4
Mooresville 130 100 0 5 9 1
WP: Trey Croom LP: Drew Miller
Reagan 8 Ashley 0
Reagan got another dominating starting pitching performance to advance to the finals of Ashley’s spring break tournament with an 8-0 victory over the host Screaming Eagles on Wednesday night.
Junior Nolan Flachofsky struck out 13 batters in five innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. He now has 36 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings this season. His ERA in five appearances is 0.70.
In Tuesday’s opening-round victory over Hoggard, senior Jacob Hartle registered 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“They come out most every night and they throw well for us,” Reagan coach Gary Nail said. “(Nolan) got ahead early and did a great job.”
Reagan struck early when leadoff hitter A.J. Gallo doubled to left and scored when Will Sprinkle followed with a single.
Three Ashley (6-4) errors helped the Raiders tack on four more runs in the second and chase starter Donovan Francis, who only allowed one earned run.
The Screaming Eagles finished the game with a season-high six errors. They came into the game with only eight miscues in their first nine games.
Andrew Vogler hit a one-out double for the Reagan in the third. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error by Francis, who moved to third base.
The final runs of the game came from several Raiders pinch hitters. Alex Goins and Andrew Blake hit back-to-back singles. Blake advanced to second on an error from Ashley shortstop Kyle Stewart. Both scored two batters later when Chase Snyder, another pinch hitter, laced a base hit up the middle.
Alex Highsmith, Evan Laverick and Christian Tafoya each singled for Ashley.
The Raiders (9-2) will take on New Hanover in tonight’s finals at 7:30 p.m.
Ashley, which managed just three base hits, plays Mooresville for third-place at 4:30 p.m.
Box score R H E
Reagan 141 000 2 8 11 1
Ashley 000 000 0 0 3 6
WP: Nolan Flachofsky (2-0). LP: Donovan Francis (2-2).