Northern, Southern set for title showdown in Oxford
Dustin Brummitt and Kyle Lawrence led Southern Vance on the mound and at the plate Friday and Southern Vance rolled to a 16-3, five-inning win over Franklin Academy.
Southern improved to 2-0 in the Webb Easter Tournament following Thursday’s win over Roanoke Rapids and will play in the championship game Saturday at 5 p.m. against crosstown rival Northern.
Brummitt threw the first 3.1 innings for Southern, allowing three hits, before being relieved by Lawrence, who gave up one hit.
“Dustin on the mound did a good job,” said Southern coach Tony McGhee. “He’s still got to get ahead in his counts. If he gets ahead and we can get our breaking pitches over, he’s going to be OK.”
Brummitt and Lawrence were both 2-for-3 at the plate. Brummitt had a three-run triple in the first inning to make it 9-0 and Lawrence scored two runs on a double to left field in the third.
“At the plate, they have got to hit when we have runners in scoring position,” McGhee said of Brummitt and Lawrence. “And they’ve done that the last two days.”
The Raiders struck for 10 runs in the first inning Friday before adding three more in the third and fifth. The Patriots got two back in the second and one in the fifth.
“We’re hitting the ball better, but we still have to be able to not turn the switch off after you get a lead like we had,” said McGhee. “We have to keep playing.”
Kevin Lopez was also 2-for-3 for Southern and David Adcock, Jamal Williams and Brandon Salmon added base hits.
Salmon, a sophomore, got the win for Southern Thursday night, tossing four innings before Lawrence closed out the 9-4 win.
Vikings roll over Roanoke Rapids
Northern Vance reverted to playing the way it did early in the season in the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids at the J.F. Webb Easter Tournament.
The Vikings were holding onto a 1-0 lead and failing to take advantage of their opportunities.
“We got together and talked about it,” said Northern coach Benji Nelson. “We had been hitting the ball decent the past couple of games. I just told them we need to get back what to what we’ve been doing. Some of the guys that had been struggling hitting started to come around.”
Nelson’s team responded with a seven-run fifth inning and four more in the next frame as Northern claimed a 12-0, six-inning win behind a complete-game effort from Nate Arrington.
“We need to learn how to finish games when we have the opportunity to finish them,” said Nelson. “And we did that. I’m proud of them.”
The win followed Thursday’s victory over Roxboro Community School. The Vikings improved to 4-3 overall and meet Southern for the title Saturday.
“What a game it’s going to be between two crosstown rivals,” said Nelson, who coached the Raiders for seven seasons. “Northern-Southern battling it out for the championship game. We know we’re going to have to play just as hard. Southern’s got a good team over there. We’re going to come over here and play our rear ends off and see what happens.”
Arrington allowed three hits and struck out 10 for Northern, running his record to 2-1 on the season.
“He did a great job of mixing up off-speed and working fastball in and out,” said Nelson. “He did a great job of keeping hitters off balance."
Each Viking batter in the starting order logged a base hit. Barry Purnell, Trey Stainback, Zach Pegram, Tyquan Bryant, Travon Scott, and Chris Paulson each had two hits and Arrington, TaBrian Scott and Thomas Abbott each had one hit.
Saturday at the Webb Easter tourney
Fifth-place game: Webb (0-2) vs Roanoke Rapids (0-2), 11 a.m.
Third-place game: Franklin Academy (1-1) vs Roxboro Community School (1-1), 2 p.m.
Championship: Northern Vance (2-0) vs Southern Vance (2-0), 5 p.m.