Wildcat Baseball 2011 - 3rd Round: My Site News: The last local team out - Wildcats fall at Leesville Road

Chapel Hill News Masthead
Wednesday, May 25
The last local team out - Wildcats fall at Leesville Road
BY JONATHAN JONES, CHN Correspondent
RALEIGH - East Chapel Hill finally met a higher seed it couldn't take down.

After playing on the road, and winning, in the first two rounds of N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs, the Wildcats traveled to Leesville Road against a Pride team that had lost only three times this season.

It wouldn't be a fourth on Friday night.

The Pride won 5-2 and knocked out the only No. 3 seed remaining in the NCHSAA 4-A East bracket. The Wildcats (16-11) also were the only team from Orange or Chatham counties that reached the NCHSAA third round.

"I told our kids if we would have won the next five games I wouldn't have been any prouder of them," East Chapel Hill coach Phillip Woodell said. "We battled all year and our seniors got us on a roll at the end of the year."

Relief pitcher Alex Moore didn't give up an earned run in his five innings on the mound, but the damage had been done before Moore had his shot at Leesville Road.

The Pride took it to the visitors early, getting East out 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning, and then batting around in the bottom of the frame.

Logan Bible got it started with an infield single that just a few pitches later saw him standing at third following a steal and throwing error.

Ryan Mulligan would drive him and pinch runner Graham McNeill with a two-RBI single that took a hop off the infield grass that fooled first baseman Taylor West.

Leesville Road tacked on another run when second baseman Henry Branson couldn't find a line drive in the sun.

After calming the Pride bats in the second inning, East Chapel Hill starter Aaron Bonertz loaded the bases with two walks and a single before Woodell called for Moore.

Moore walked in a run with the first batter he faced, and Bible added an RBI one batter later with a sacrifice fly before Moore recorded the final two outs of the inning.

"Alex came in and threw the ball really well, and the latter part of the season he has thrown the ball," Woodell said. "We probably should have started him pitching more, but he's so valuable in the outfield and covers a lot of ground."

Bonertz' counterpart from Leesville Road, Sean Ross, had an easier go of it, allowing one run and three hits in the first three innings as the Pride pushed its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the third.

"Sean did a great job," Leesville Road coach Chad Smothers said.

"He came in and he's been our No. 3 all year. That's his first complete game. He threw strikes and gave the defense a chance to play and I couldn't be more proud of his effort."

East Chapel Hill would get another run on the board in the fifth when Parker Tew drove in Tyler Klimko, who got to third by singling, stealing second and taking third on a balk.

Tew brought in both of the runs for East Chapel Hill with long sacrifice flies, while the speedy Klimko scored both runs after singling. Klimko went 2-for-3 on the night.

The Pride improved to 23-3 overall and went on to play at Holly Springs on Tuesday.

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