Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bulldogs ease in through the back door

I was totally shocked, but extremely happy that Nash Central's varsity baseball team made the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs. The pairings were released by the NCHSAA Wednesday.

But how happy should I be?

The Bulldogs, who closed out the regular season with a 7-13 record, received a wild card entry into the postseason and will travel to face Coastal No. 1 seed D.H. Conley (14-9) in Hollywood Friday evening.

Three years ago, Nash Central made the playoffs as a wild card, but it had a whopping15 victories and a decent chance of making some headway in the playoffs. However, things must have been pretty bad in the eastern 3-A ranks this season for a wild card to get in with seven wins.

SouthWest Edgecombe must be really kicking itself. It had eight wins, but needed just one more win in NEW 6 play last week to head to the diamond party.

Who could've seen this coming? Early reports to me suggested either Eastern or Western Alamance had the wild cards spots sewn up.

But when Northern Guilford had to forfeit all its baseball wins Wednesday (as well as its boys 3-A basketball state title) as part of the school's messy multi-sport ineligibility scandal that is still ongoing, the door for the Bulldogs may have opened.

I wish the 'Dogs luck. They will need it!

The rest of the NEW 6: Rocky Mount will get the postseason party started Thursday when it hosts Eastern Carolina No. 4 seed Southern Wayne (12-14). Game time is 7 p.m.

Friday, weather permitting (my guess is that no one will get a game in around here Friday), NEW 6 No. 2 seed Northern Nash (14-7) will host Bartlett Yancey at 7 p.m. Early notice on the Knights' opponent was off, too.

At first, some thought Dudley would be coming to Red Oak, then it changed to Northern Guilford. But things can change in a couple of days, so the school that produced WTVD11's Larry Stogner will be headed to Nash County.

Southern Nash (8-13), the NEW 6 No. 4 seed, will travel to Erwin to face Cape Fear Valley No. 2 Triton (18-5) Friday. NEW 6 No. 3 Wilson Fike (12-8) will visit ECC No. 2 seed C.B. Aycock (18-6) and play each other for the third time this season come Friday.

Really early start: Two teams in the east got the playoffs going even earlier than Rocky Mount and Southern Wayne.

West Carteret and Currituck played their 3-A east opener in Barco Wednesday, with the Patriots winning on the road 10-1. They now await the winner of the Eastern Wayne-Northeast Guilford contest next Tuesday.