Baseball state championship preview: Panthers try to dethrone Eagles

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Northside 22-6 defeated Hobbton, 8-1, Oxford Prep, 6-0, Southside, 5-0, Roxboro Community 6-5 (9) and East Wake Academy L 9-0, W 7-4 & 4-1 in the East finals.

Northsides conference losses were to East Carteret and Pamlico Co. with non-conference defeats to Ayden-Grifton, Perquimans and Bear Grass.

Senior center fielder Jamie Corprew leads the Panthers offense with a .411 average, 28 runs scored, 37 hits and 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts.
Freshman Trenton Allen (.397), sophomore Holden Boykin (.388) and senior Hunter Chrismon (.375) also have performed well at the plate. Boykin leads the team with 19 RBI

Pitching is the Panthers strength. Senior Brandon Arthur leads the staff with a 6-0 record, an 0.61 earned run average and 105 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. Junior James Sawyer is 7-1 with a 1.19 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 59 innings, while Chrismon is 5-3 with a 3.23 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 39 innings. Allen and junior Ashton Willard have also contributed on the mound.

“We are very happy and extremely proud to call ourselves East champions,” first-year head coach Parker Boyd said. “We were not ourselves in the loss to East Wake, but we answered the challenge and ended up winning the series. We’ve competed hard all year and our pitching has been lights out for the most part. We’ll continue to play our game and see what happens.

Northside won the only team state title in school history in its only other appearance in the baseball finals in 1994 with a 10-0, 6-2 sweep of Owen HS in the 2A championship series.

Uwharrie Charter of Asheboro

The Eagles, 26-6, are the defending 1A champions after a 2-1 and 8-1 sweep of North Moore in 2023. They also won in 2019 6-4 and 10-2 over Rosewood. They returned to the championship series with victories over Bradford Prep 15-0, Polk County 8-1, Mountain Heritage, 15-5, Christ the King 4-3 (8) and 4-0 & 12-0 wins sandwiched between a 1-0 loss to Mount Airy in the West regional.

The loss snapped a 17-game winning streak.

The only stats the Eagles provided to were earned run averages for sophomore right-hander Jake Hunter (1.12), junior left-hander Alex Carver (1.43) and junior righty Brett Smith (2.03).