No. 13 North Brunswick 4 No. 20 Greene Central 0
North Brunswick Coach Dustin Medlin knew he was taking a chance by starting a freshman on the mound to open the 2A state playoffs on Wednesday night, but the gamble paid off as Landen Wright delivered an outstanding performance in a complete-game shutout to pitch the Scorpions past Greene Central 4-0 in Leland.
The southpaw scattered four hits, walked one and struck out five, while Trenton Chasteen went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs and run scored to pace the North Brunswick lineup.
“We rolled the dice a little bit and knew they could swing it with nine seniors, but Landon’s never cracked at all this year,” said Medlin. “We’ve been kind of waiting to see him have that freshman moment, but it hasn’t happened yet. He’s a guy that throws strikes and gives our defense a chance.”
Wright overcame three Scorpion miscues, picked two runners off at first and got two hitters out on called third strikes in the seventh to close the effort.
North Brunswick got a little help from a catcher’s interference call in the bottom of the second to keep the inning alive after Garett Scoggins led off with a line drive double to the wall in left. With two outs and runners on second and third, Chastain smacked a base hit to drive in a pair of runs to give the Scorpions a 2-0 lead.
That’s all the support Wright needed, but Jaheed Cason provided the insurance in the fifth with a one-out triple to right-center to bring in Chasteen, who singled up the middle to start the inning. Cason eventually crossed the plate on a wild-pitch to secure the result for North Brunswick.
“We’ve been hit with the injury bug this season with two starters out,” said Medlin. “We’ve got guys who haven’t the whole season that are stepping up for us. It’s a different guy everyday right now that’s coming through with the big hit and that’s what you like to see out of a team.”
Scoggins added two hits and a run scored in the cleanup spot.
With the victory, No. 14 Scorpions (16-7) now get to go with their ace in the second round of the tournament as East Carolina commit Shelton Perkins is scheduled for the start at No. 4 Fairmont on Friday.
“We’re trying to make a run in this thing and knew if we were to get to the second round against Fairmont we’d have to go with our best,” said Medlin. “If we lost I’m an idiot. If we win, maybe it works out for us and we’ll feel good about having Shelton out there on Friday.”
Box score R H E
Greene 000 000 0 0 4 3
North 020 020 X 4 5 3
WP: Landen Wright LP: Austin Mooring
Landen Wright: 7IP; 4H; 0R; 5K; 1BB
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Landen Wright’s name.