That's what lie ahead for the winner of tonight's for the winner of tonight's match up between the Watauga High baseball team and South Mecklenburg. The winner of this second-round game (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on AM 1450, WATA and GoBlueridge.net) will travel to Providence (24-4) in the sectional finals
The Panthers, led by former WHS assistant coach Danny Hignight (1998-2000), defeated Alexander Central (his alma mater) 5-1 Friday night in Taylorsville in the second round of the NCHSAA Class 4A state playoffs in Taylorsville, N.C.
Winning pitcher Matt Deal scattered three hits and struck out nine to pick up the win. Tommy Dejuneas led the Panthers offensively going 2-3 with a home run. Providence broke it open with a late burst.
With the game tied 1-1, the Panthers jumped on top for good with two runs in the sixth; they added two more runs in the seventh to put the game away. Tadd Ratlliff of Alexander Central (20-8) suffered the loss. He coughed up five runs, two earned, in seven innings with three walks and three seven strikeouts. Ratliff was Alexander Central's most productive hitter, going 2-3 in the loss.
South Caldwell advanced thanks to a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. The Spartans (23-5) defeated Asheviille-Roberson. 7-6. The Spartans will play at Charlotte-Ardrey Kell (28-2) Tuesday night.
GARDIN, CALDWELL PACE PATRIOTS AT STATE TRACK MEET
Khris Gardin, who will play football at North Carolina A&T University next fall, and Brenden Caldwell combined for all of Freedom High's 31 points on Friday afternoon at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3A track and field championships at the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina State A&T University.
Gardin finished fourth in the boys' 100-meter dash (10.94) and fourth in the 200 (23.55); Caldwell turned in a second-place finish in the 200 (22.35) and sixth in the 100 (11.03). Those two teamed up with T.C. Boston and B.J. Emmons to win the 4x100 relay (41.99).
Freedom finished in a fifth-place tie.
In the girls' meet, Hickory was led by Kaylah Ruff, who turned in a second-place finish in the girls' 300-meter hurdles (45.12) and a third-place finish in the girls' 100 hurdles (14.88).
Hickory finished in a 13th-place tie with 17 points.
Jahmaal Daniel won a pair of individual events on Friday to help lead Fayetteville Terry Sanford to the boys' team title. Daniel took first place in both the 100 and the 200 as Terry Sanford scored 58 points to 40 for Asheville and Northeast Guilford, in a second-place tie. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (34) was fourth and Morganton Freedom (31) fifth. Northern Guilford, the defending 3-A mens champ, was sixth. A total of 58 teams scored points in the mens meet.
Philip Hall also had a big role in the Terry Sanford victory, earning the mens Most Valuable Performer award. He won the 1600, finished second in the 800 and was third in the 3200.
In the girls' meet, Western Alamance took first place in three field events, including two by Alexis Dickerson, to hold off the field. Dickerson won both the shot and the discus and Lydia Laws of Western Alamance was also a double winner, winning the triple jump and earning a title in the 300 hurdles.
Laws, who also had second-place finishes in the 100 and the long jump. earned the womens MVP. Western Alamance recorded 56 points to 50 for Asheville A.C. Reynolds, with Fayetteville Westover in third with 36 points. Weddington was fourth with 35 and West Carteret fifth with 34.50 points among the 55 schools scoring in the womens meet.
Anna Vess of A.C. Reynolds had an outstanding meet, winning two distance events in impressive fashion. She won the 3200 meters in 3-A record time, erasing a mark that had stood for 16 years, in 10:52.18. Earlier in the meet, she nipped Blake Dodge of West Carteret, who is the NCHSAA Female Athlete of the Year and three-time Most Valuable Performer in the state 3-A championships, by a mere .01 second in the 1600. Her winning time of 5:00.39 was just over a second slower than Dodges current 3-A record in that event. Dodge did win the 800 meters.
South Caldwell 7, Asheville-Roberson 6
Charlotte-Providence 5, Alexander Central 1
South Mecklenburg (19-8) @ Watauga (14-13), 7 p.m.
Charlotte Catholic (12-9) @ South Caldwell (22-1), 7 p.m.
Fred T. Foard (10-11) @ West Rowan (18-5), 7 p.m.
Freedom (14-10) @ North Lincoln (18-5), 7 p.m.
Cherryville (11-9) @ Avery (4-9), 2:30 p.m.
Hickory (17-3-1) @ South Iredell (15-4). 6 p.m.
Gastonia-Forestview (11-5-4) @ Fred T. Foard (10-13), 7 p.m.
Avery (13-9) @ Lincoln Charter (17-6), 6 p.m.
Ashe County (15-7-1) @ Hendersonville, 2 p.m.