Back-to-back home runs lift Topsail in 3A playoffs; Topsail, North Brunswick softball advance

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No. 3 Topsail 6     No. 19 Eastern Guilford 2

With the game tied at two in the bottom of the fifth, Clark Cota and Jake Madole hit back-to-back home runs to spark a three-run inning as the Topsail Pirates advanced through the second round of the 3A playoffs with a 6-2 victory over Eastern Guilford on Saturday afternoon.

Jake Madole, left, and Clark Cota help guide Topsail on Saturday. Photo courtesy- Colin Rice.
Jake Madole, left, and Clark Cota help guide Topsail on Saturday. Photo courtesy Colin Rice.

“I was just looking for a pitch I could drive and saw a ball middle in and was able to turn on it,” said Madole, who finished his day 2-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and a pair of runs batted in. “I’m real excited right now about this team and just looking to help my team win in any way I can.

“I think we’ve matured throughout the year and as a lineup we understand our roles and that showed today.”

On the mound Bryce Cota grinded his way through four innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits, with six walks and five strikeouts. Sam Luchansky closed the door as the senior side winder tossed three scoreless innings of relief and went 2-for-2 to pace a nine hit attack for the Pirates.

“It’s pretty big to get the win and we’re looking forward to getting after it next week,” said Luchansky. “My fastball had a lot of tail on it and was a big pitch for me today.”

Trader Flora tags out a runner at home plate.
Trader Flora tags out a runner at home plate.

Luchansky singled home Sam Hall to put Topsail on the board in the second, while Luchansky gunned out a runner at the plate to prevent the tying run in the top of the third.

Madole’s solo shot in the bottom of the frame gave the Pirates a 2-0 cushion before Eastern Guilford rallied for two runs in the fourth to set the stage for Madole and Cota in the fifth.

No. 3 Topsail entertains No. 6 C.B. Aycock in the third round of the tournament on Tuesday.

Box score                      R  H   E

Guilford  000  200   0     2   3    2

Topsail    011  031  X     6   9    1

 

Softball

4A tournament

No. 9 Heritage 10      No. 25 Hoggard 3

With the game tied at one, Heritage High School erupted for nine runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to hand Hoggard a 10-3 season ending setback on Saturday night.

3A tournament

No. 5 Topsail 7     No. 12 Northwood 1

Topsail used a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth to break a tie ballgame as the Pirates defeated Northwood 7-1 in Hampstead on Saturday.

Victoria Elder struck out nine in a complete game effort and finished with two hits at the plate.

North Brunswick moved on to the third round of the playoffs on Saturday. Photo courtesy- North Brunswick Athletics
North Brunswick moved on to the third round of the playoffs on Saturday. Photo courtesy North Brunswick Athletics.

No. 5 Topsail improved to 18-6 overall and play host to No. 20 Triton in the third round of the 3A playoffs on Tuesday, May 19.

2A tournament

No. 6 North Brunswick 7     No. 22 North Pitt 0

Preston Ellenburg struck out nine and scattered five hits in a complete-game shutout to help guide North Brunswick to a 7-0 win over North Pitt on Saturday night.

Ellenburg added two hits and two RBIs in the victory, while Jessi Williams went 2-for-3 with a double. Stacy Fodrie also tripled, scored a pair of runs and knocked in two for the Scorpions.

Summer White walked twice and went 1-for-1 with two runs scored.

No. 6 North Brunswick travels to No. 3 Beddingfield in the third round of the 2A playoffs next week.