Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rocky Mount, Nash Central, Northern Nash baseball playoff-bound

Three Nash County high school baseball teams have earned a berth in the 2011 NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs and their play will begin Thursday evening.

Rocky Mount, which earned the No. 2 seed from the Big East Conference, will host Hertford County Thursday at 7 p.m. at Gryphon Stadium. The Bears (14-7) are the No. 2 seed from the Northeastern Carolina Conference.

The Gryphons will have senior hurler Benton Moss (7-1) on the hill as he attempts to break the Twin Counties' record for career pitching victories. He is currently tied with former Northern Nash star Tyler Joyner with 30 (Moss 30-3, Joyner 30-7).

Nash Central head coach Jeff Mizzell expected that his team would finish at least third in the Big East, and that's exactly what happened.

The Bulldogs (16-7), by virtue of their regular season win Monday over Northern Nash, claimed that No. 3 seed and they will travel to Jacksonville for a date with the Cardinals, the No. 2 seed from the Coastal Conference. The game is set for Friday at 7 p.m.

Jacksonville (19-3), which started the season with a 13-game winning streak, ended the regular season going 2-2, including an 8-1 loss in its regular season finale to West Carteret to fall out of first place tie with D.H. Conley in the league.

The Bulldogs will go with either seniors Jeremy Sloop or Trellis Ashley as pitching starters.

Northern Nash (12-7), the No. 4 seed from the Big East, will travel to Sanford Friday for a matchup with Southern Lee, the No. 1 seed out of the Cape Fear Valley Conference. Game time is 7 p.m. The Cavaliers (15-9) edged out Union Pines for the top spot in that league.

Senior Jeremy Lucas is expected to start on the mound for the Knights.

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