County teams return to the diamond

Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2023

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County baseball teams will have three weeks left in the season with key games ahead when classes resume Monday after a week off for spring break.

Northside is 4-0 in the Coastal Plains Conference, tied with Pamlico County and 2A East Carteret for the top spot with a pair of games left against both.

The Panthers are 11-3 after a 7-5 loss to Fayetteville Pine Forest, a 4A school, in the Pitt County Easter Tournament. A key matchup with 1A power Voyager Academy was rained out.

Senior Carson Clinkscales is second in the CPC with a .513 average, second with 16 runs batted in and fourth with 22 runs scored.

Classmate Eli Huynh is batting .404 with 13 RBI and leads the league with four pitching victories and is fifth with 35 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.

Junior Hunter Chrismon is fourth with 14 RBI and fifth with a .447 average, while Brandon Arthur is third in ERA (1.80) and strikeouts (38) while batting .381 with 20 runs scored. The Panthers are batting .364 as a team.

County rival Southside is 0-4 in the league and 6-7 overall, currently on the bubble for a playoff spot.

The Seahawks have three players in the top 10 in hitting, freshman Luke Bullock is seventh (.438), junior Cutter Williams is eighth (.429) and freshman Jackson Harding is ninth (.421)

Williams is fourth in on base percentage (.583), while Bullock is sixth (.571). Bullock is second among league pitchers with 39 strikeouts in 23.2 innings, while senior Walker Hill is tied for second with 16 RBI.

Southside has two games with Jones, Lejeune and Pamlico County left on its conference slate.

Washington is 5-6 overall and 1-5 in the Eastern Plains 2A conference. The Pack sit in sixth place in the league and face a stiff battle to make the post-season. They begin the week with a pair of games against North Pitt (2-12), then face SouthWest Edgecombe and Ayden-Grifton with a non-conference tilt at Northside.

“It’s possible for us to win out in conference games,” coach Will Tyson said. “We faced a rough stretch right before break against three Division I pitching prospects, including a kid from Greene Central, who’s already committed to ECU. Hopefully, we will come back from break refreshed, recharged and ready to attack.”

Junior Hunter Baldree has led the offensive attack so far with a league-leading 19 RBI with three doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs. He’s second with a .474 average and third with a .535 on base percentage.

“He and Bryce Williams have been carrying our offense,” Tyson said. “We have some others who can get hot and hopefully, they will.”

Senior Justin McLean is batting .375, while sophomore Bryce Williams has a .350 average.

Senior Evan Waters lead the Pack on the mound with 38 strikeouts in 25.1 innings, while classmate Austin Cherry has fanned 28 in 19.1 innings.