LOTS ON THE LINE: Northside, Southside meet for first time
Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016
PINETOWN — After rain forced the game to be postponed a day, Northside and Southside are slated to meet for the first time Wednesday evening. The game will be more than just a rivalry as both baseball clubs are striving to make a name in the 1-A Coastal Plains Conference.
The top of the league standings is stacked. Powerhouse East Carteret is perfect through five conference games and stands at 10-6 overall. Meanwhile, Jones Senior and Bear Grass — second and third, respectively — combine for just two losses in conference and seven overall.
After a 2-1 showing in the Northside Easter Tournament, the Seahawks have won just once after returning from spring break. They most recently dropped a 10-0 decision to the dominant Mariners, but also lost 5-1 at home in what is Pamlico County’s only conference win to date.
Offense has been hard to come by the last few times out. After scoring six runs in a win over Kinston, Southside has scored just once in those last two conference games. The defense has been shaky at times, but the Seahawks’ offense has helped them squeak out a 3-6 record even when they concede five or more runs.
The Panthers may be the team that can help them find that offensive spark again. Northside has given up 14 runs in two games since coming back from spring break, including letting bottom-feeding Lejeune score half a dozen.
Northside should be able to get its bats going like it has throughout much of the season to this point. If the Panthers’ pitching staff and defense can buckle down, they may be able to find the win that would put them in contention for the No. 3 spot in the league. Even so, this does have the potential to be a high-scoring game, much like the 20-10 meeting between Northside and Pamlico County a month ago.
The softball game between the two looks a little less even on paper. Northside, winners of seven in a row, hosts Southside, which has lost its last two games.
The Lady Panthers boast a potent offense that has scored 67 runs in five conference games. That is coupled with its stingy defense that has given up just 13 runs in that span. They stand second in the conference and will be playing to keep their tight first-place bout with East Carteret alive.
The Lady Seahawks, in their second game back from spring break, dropped a 10-5 decision to Pamlico County that made the middle of the standings crowded. There are three teams with three wins trailing the Lady Mariners and Lady Panthers.
A win would help Southside pull out of that crowd and firmly grasp the No. 3 spot in the league. But even with that on the line, it’s going to be tough to overcome a streaking Lady Panthers squad that ranks No. 16 in the state, according to MaxPreps.
Both games are slated to take place Wednesday evening at Northside. The softball game will begin at 6 p.m. and the first pitch of the baseball game will be 7 p.m.