Barnette hits walk-off homer in Piedmont's 1-0 win
As the only four-year starter on Piedmont High's baseball team, Colby Barnette is counted on for leadership.
Barnette led the Panthers into the championship of the Rocky River Conference tournament with a walk-off solo home run in the seventh inning in a 1-0 win over North Stanly on Thursday.
Barnette, a third baseman who has signed with UNC Chapel Hill, belted the first pitch of the seventh inning deep into the trees in left field.
"Walking up to the plate I was going to take the first couple of pitches, but I saw that first pitching coming and I was thinking 'Man there's no way I can pass this one up,'" Barnette said. "I just took a hack at it and watched it go."
Barnette now has five home runs on the season, giving him a share of the team lead with senior catcher Cody Purser.
Both pitchers carried no-hitters into the fifth inning.
Piedmont's Cameron Price earned the complete-game shutout, improving his record to 5-1. Price allowed just two hits — both singles — and struck out seven against just one walk.
"Cameron pitched great," Barnette said. "He stayed ahead of the hitters. He's been dominant all year. I thought both pitchers did very well."
Comets pitcher Carson Sells didn't give up a walk and had his no-hit bid broken up in the sixth when Jonathan Caldwell led off with a bunt single.
Sells pitched against the Panthers for the first time all season.
"He kept us off balance," Barnette said of Sells. "He fooled me a couple times. I mean the guy only gave up two hits and one was a bunt. It's a tough way to lose but it happens that way sometimes."
The victory improved Piedmont's record to 21-2 overall, while the Comets fell to 12-12.
North Stanly is 0-3 against Piedmont this season, including a 6-5 road loss on March 28 and a 13-9 home loss on March 5.