The South Caldwell High baseball team continued its domination of the Northwestern 3A/4A Tournament Friday night in Granite Falls. NC.
The Spartans won their sixth consecutive championship (2005-present) by staving off Hickory 5-4 in the finals. Tyler Bumgarner, who won two games in the tournament, was named the Most Valuable Player. Bumgarner in 10 2/3 innings of work gave up four runs, two earned on six hits, walked four and struck out 13 men.
The Spartans (21-4), the No.1 seed from the NW3A/4A Conference, will open the state playoffs at home next Friday night, May 14 against a wildcard team. Watauga (16-9), which lost to Hickory in the semi-final round on Thursday, is the No.2 seed and will open post-season play on the road next Friday night.
But a correction on who they will play. Instead of playing the No.1 seed (West Mecklenburg, which is 8-10) from the MEGA 7 3A/4A Conference, the Pioneers will play the No.2 two seed, either Olympic (10-12) or East Gaston (10-11). Those teams are currently tied for the No.2 seed in that league.
And if WHS advances, the Pioneers will most likely play at T.C. Roberson (17-4) in the second round, Tuesday night, May 18. The Rams are the No.1 seed from the Mountain Athletic 3A/4A Conference. Ironically, A.C. Reynolds defeated TCR 18-9 in the MAC championship game Friday night. The Rockets scored 11 runs in the first inning. ACR replaces McDowell as the No.2 seed among the 4A schools.
The Titans (12-12) , who lost to ACR in the opening round of the tournament, will probably miss the state playoffs. The state pairings will be released on Tuesday, May 11.
NOTES: The St. Stephens-Hibriten game to decide the final playoff spot in the 3A division of the Northwestern Conference was not played on Friday night. The coaches, Chip Watts of St. Stephens and Terry Henthorne of Hibriten, decided the team that advanced further in the tournament would get the nod. Hickory, Fred T. Foard and St. Stephens will represent the NW Conference in the Class 3A state playoffs.