WHS edges Butler, 5-4, for 10th straight win
Weddington High's baseball team wrapped up a perfect 3-0 week at the East Meck Spring Break Classic with a 5-4 come-from-behind, eight-inning victory over Butler on Wednesday.
The Warriors (11-4) also got their first pitching performances of the season from seniors Alex Bostic and Jeremy Schellhorn in much-anticipated returns to the mound. Schellhorn, aCharlotte 49ers signee, picked up the win in two innings of work to close the game.
Bostic, who has signed with Clemson, came in to start the fifth inning with a 1-all score. The rust of not pitching showe as Bostic hit the first batter he faced and couldn't make a clean throw to second for an error against the second batter. A wild pitch allowed the runners to move to second and third, and Kobe Phillips scored on a ground out by Jacob Wittingham to give Butler a 2-1 lead.
The trouble didn't stop there as Bostic walked Jordan Huntley before recording his first strikeout of the season against Taylor Crowell for the second out.
Bostic then gave up an RBI single to Stefan Montanez and walked Garrett Wise to load the bases before a second wild pitch allowed Huntley to cross the plate for a 4-1 lead.
Bostic, who ended the inning with another strikeout, knows he has some things to fine tune as the season goes on but was happy to be pitching again.
"It just felt great to get back out there," Bostic said. "It has been a while and I was just hoping to get out there and do well. I'll work through things as the season keeps going."
The Warriors battled back with three runs of their own in the top of the sixth.
Josh Islam led off with a single, followed by three straight walks to Davis Norred, Jeff Welch and Landon Kay. Islam came home on Kay's walk to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Duke commit Daniel Calabretta followed with a sacrifice fly to right to score Norred and Bostic helped himself by running the count full before launching a double into the left field corner to tie the game.
Bostic would go through the bottom of the sixth much cleaner. He gave up a walk after getting a fly out, a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning.
"I just needed to settle down a little bit," he said. "My command wasn't there. In the second inning I thought I figured it out a little bit. It was better for me. I'm going to take it slow, there is no need to rush anything. Hopefully, I'll get it going next week, maybe in relief or something."
The Warriors couldn't produce a hit with a runner on third in the seventh and Warriors coach Travis Poole called Schellhorn to the mound for the bottom of the inning.
Schellhorn gave up a lead off single to Huntley but got newly entered pitcher Jarrett Norman to pop out on a bunt attempt. He was then able to get Montanez to ground into a fielder's choice for the second out, and Montanez was beat by Jake Ferry's throw to second on a steal attempt for the third out that sent the game into extras.
The Warriors finally took the lead when Bostic got on with a one-out walk and stole second. Schellhorn was then hit by a pitch.
University of Virginia commit Sean Collins delivered the game-winning RBI, knocking in Bostic with a two-out single.
Schellhorn came back to the mound for the bottom of the eighth and made it look easy as he picked up the victory with two ground outs right back to him and a ground out to third to end the game.
"It feels good to see both of them after coming off injuries to be able to be OK," Poole said. "They'll start getting back in the groove because they're both competitors. They want to be in the game and it was a good opportunity for both of them."
Junior Paul Brocklebank started on the mound for the Warriors and was locked in a pitchers' duel with the Bulldogs' Malachi Hanes.
Brocklebank didn't give up a run over the first three innings.
The Warriors were coming off the night cap from Tuesday, when they held off a furious rally from Hopewell for a 10-9 victory.
"You take wins any way you can get them," Poole said.
The Warriors held a 10-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning when the wheels came off with two walks, an error, catcher interference, a single and a three run homer. When the bleeding stopped, Hopewell had scored seven runs to cut the advantage to one run.
"We just had to really buckle down and make the routine plays which kind of didn't happen in the sixth inning," Schellhorn said. "We came out and played hard in the last inning and shut them down."
Schellhorn hopes the team's success in the tournament will carry over into the rest of the season the way it did a year ago when the Warriors went undefeated during Spring Break and went on to win the 3A state championship.
"I think you go back to last year at the Spring Break tournament where we kind of turned it on," Schellhorn said of winning the Griffin-Toxey Classic at Sun Valley. "We made a nice little run so hopefully it turns out to be the same thing."
The Warriors re-enter Southern Carolina Conference play Tuesday at home against Parkwood with the prospect of Bostic and Schellhorn returning to the starting rotation soon.
"That's always important but if not we have guys that have carried us this far," Poole said. "They've done a good job and we'll stick with it."
Bostic led the Warriors offensively in the tournament, going a combined 6-for-11 with two home runs, three doubles, seven RBI, two walks and seven runs scored.
Chris Simpson went 5-for-10 with three RBI and four runs scored for WHS; Calabretta was 5-for-11 with a double and four runs scored; Islam was 3-for-7 with two doubles; and Collins was 4-for-11 with a homer, four RBI and three runs scored.