Beaufort County pitchers lead teams into postseason

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Postseason baseball has arrived in Beaufort County. Washington, Northside and Southside all finished the season with winning records. The Panthers and Pam Pack both placed second in their respective conferences.

The one thing they all have in common is they’re all playoff bound. Washington hit the road for Eastern Randolph Tuesday to open its postseason play. The Pam Pack and Seahawks both marginally missed out on hosting first-round games. Southside will travel to Falls Lake Academy Wednesday.

That leaves Northside as the lone team opening its playoff run at home. The Panthers will host North Duplin Wednesday.

Pitching has been a forte for each team during the regular season. Washington, Northside and Southside all boast deep pitching staffs. The new pitch-count rule, which was implemented starting this season, makes playoff games even more of a chess match.



The Panthers go into the 1-A playoffs with a pair of aces in Zach Griffin and Zach Woolard. Griffin led with 1-A Coastal Plains Conference with 72 strikeouts. Woolard ranked third with 46. Woolard’s five wins tie teammate Tanner Alligood for first in the league. That Panther trio of Woolard, Griffin and Alligood has combined for 14 of Northside’s 17 wins this season.

The Panthers will hope they can continue to get as much mileage out of Woolard and Griffin as they have. The two have pitched almost 67 percent of Northside’s innings this season over their combined 15 starts.

Behind them, Alligood and Reg Bishop have proved themselves to be reliable out of the bullpen. Alligood, who has only started two games, has a 2.37 earned-run average over his 20 2/3 innings of work. Bishop, who has chipped in 11 2/3 innings, has a 1.20 ERA.



Southside stumbled into the playoffs a bit as its pitchers and defense conceded five or more runs in three of its last four. Regardless, over the course of the entire regular season, the Seahawks pitchers have shown they can rise to the occasion.

Brantley Cutler and Paul Radford have shared the vast majority of starts. Cutler’s 43 1/3 innings of work is just a fraction higher than Radford’s 43-inning contribution.

Cutler enters the playoffs with a 3.88 ERA, but that isn’t indicative of his abilities. His average inflated a bit after running into a hot Northside team that smoked the Seahawks on senior night last week. His 40 strikeouts rank in the conference’s top five.

Radford, who excels in pitching to contact, has a 2.77 ERA on the season. His strikeouts (25) more than double his walks (12). He’s conceded a team-high 60 hits, but leads Southside with three wins.

Marshall Medlock has quietly put together an impressive season toeing the rubber. He has a 0.78 ERA over 27 innings in six appearances. He may be the most viable option should a starter run into trouble. The same could be said of Cody Modlin. He may sport a 3.27 ERA, but he’s been impressive considering the high-pressure scenarios he’s been thrown into.

Dahlton O’Neal has just about locked down the closer role. He’s fanned 10 batters in 9 1/3 innings and boasts a 0.75 ERA.



Tripp Barfield is Washington’s undisputed ace, but behind him is plenty of talent that has led Washington to a second-place finish in a tough 2-A Eastern Plains Conference.

Barfield’s 55 strikeouts rank third in the league and are only two behind the conference leader. He’s thrown just north of 48 innings for a Pam Pack squad that has spread its pitching well. He collected a 6-1 record and 1.30 ERA in six starts and nine appearances this year.

If Barfield can play to his potential, Washington should have little trouble controlling his pitch count. Tyler Harrell and Chris Sulc are both reliable bullpen options. Harrell’s 1.19 ERA ranked third in the conference. Sulc, whose 30 1/3 innings pitched come in second on the team, has a 2.08 ERA with a staggering 36 strikeouts to eight walks.

The depth continues with Cody Godley. He only made six appearances this season after an injury sidelined him for a little while, but he still amassed a 3-2 record, 2.07 ERA and threw 23 2/3 innings.

The Pam Pack also has some hidden gems. Sophomore southpaw Logan Everette only has one appearance to his name. Frederick Holscher has chipped in with 6 2/3 innings in three relief appearances.