W. Brunswick baseball clinches conference; Wilkerson tosses shutout for Hoggard; Ashley rallies past S. Brunswick

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On a night when West Brunswick paid tribute to its nine seniors who played in their final regular season game at Mike Alderson Field, the Trojans made it an evening to remember as the home team clinched its first Mideastern Conference crown since 2008 following a 3-1 win against New Hanover.

“I told the guys tonight that this was why we played snowball this winter,” said West Brunswick Coach T.J. Spivey. “All the little things they’ve worked on during the offseason is paying off. You don’t win championships in May; you win them during the offseason. They put the time in and it’s paying off.”

The nine West Brunswick senior after this years spring break tournament. Photo courtesy- West Brunswick baseball.
The nine West Brunswick seniors after this year’s spring break tournament. Photo courtesy- West Brunswick baseball.

West Brunswick moved to 10-1 in the division and 21-2 overall heading into their last game of the regular season schedule later this week at Topsail.

“We swung the bats tonight, but need to clean up some things on the base paths,” Spivey added. “We like to be aggressive on the bases and it’s helped us get us to where we are. Tyler McDuffie had a big night and Jonathan Carlyle continues to be big on the mound.”

The Trojans carried a 1-0 lead until the top of the sixth when New Hanover tied the game on an unearned run. West Brunswick responded with two runs in their next at-bat as McDuffie delivered at the plate.

McDuffie and Carlyle both had multi-hit games, while Carlyle scattered six hits in a complete game effort on the mound. McDuffie scored a pair of runs and Hunter Ashburn went 1-for-2 with a walk and one run scored.

New Hanover dropped to 6-5 in conference and 13-7 overall. The Wildcats get back on the diamond Thursday in their final home game of the year against South Brunswick.

Box score                          R H E

New Hanover  000 001 0   1 6 1

W. Brunswick 010 002 X 3 7 1

WP: Jonathan Carlyle (7IP, 6H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 3K)

Hoggard 5   Topsail 0

Rob Wilkerson was perfect through four innings of work and the junior right-handed pitcher tossed a complete game shutout for Hoggard as the Vikings earned a season sweep over Topsail with a 5-0 victory in Hampstead.

The Vikings improved to 8-3 in conference and 17-4 overall. Hoggard has now won five straight games moving into their final game of the regular season against Ashley.

Rob Wilkerson. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Rob Wilkerson. Photos by Joe Catenacci

Wilkerson allowed just one hit and one walk, with nine strikeouts. Brad Pennington paced the Vikings offense. The senior shortstop went 2-for-2 at the plate, with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored.

Pennington led off the game with an extra base hit and scored on a throwing error later in the frame. Topsail committed five miscues in the ball game, allowing a second unearned run to score in the top of the third. J.P. Graham reached base on an error to start the inning and Pennington smacked his second double of the game during the next at-bat to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

Elliott Blanton broke up Wilkerson’s perfect game and no-hitter with a leadoff single in the fifth, but the righty fanned two and got a tapper back to the mound to keep the clean sheet intact.

Hunter Gaylord and Matthew Suggs added RBI’s for Hoggard. Gaylord and J.P Graham also scored one run apiece.

Topsail fell to 6-4 in conference and 13-9 overall. The Pirates get right back on the diamond against Laney on Thursday.

Box score                    R H E

Hoggard  101 002 1     5  7 0

Topsail    000 000 0     0 1 5

WP:  Rob Wilkerson (7IP, 0R, 1H, 1BB, 9K) LP: Aidan Smith

 

Ashley 9        South Brunswick 7   

Trailing by three when the rains came and delayed yesterday’s ball game, Ashley rallied for six runs in the bottom of the fourth on Wednesday to pull off a 9-7 come from behind victory against South Brunswick.

Reggie Reagan and Christian Tafoya combined for five hits and five runs batted in to pace the Screaming Eagles lineup. Ashley collected 11 total hits in the contest, while D.C. Russ struck out three in three innings of relief.

Coming to bat in the bottom of the fourth, the Screaming Eagles scored six runs on six hits to garner a 9-6 advantage.  Vinny Farmintino singled and Kevin Mintz reached on an error to put two runners on. With two outs, Evan Laverick, Christian Tafoya, Ben Foxall, Reggie Regan, and Lee Fentress strung together five consecutive singles to garner a lead it would not relinquish.

Ashley improved to 4-7 in conference and 9-14 overall.

S. Brunswick 300 300 1 – 7

Ashley            201  600 X – 9