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CHARLOTTE — Two Corinth Holders baseball players and the school’s baseball coach represented the Johnstonian News readership area at the Powerade State Games of North Carolina from June 12-16.
With the high school season over, Region 3 head coach Adam Weaver was reunited for a week of competition in Charlotte with his players, Ty Cummings and Matt Kelley. While Landon Ginn and Tanner Smith, two other Pirates who made the team, could not attend due to rehabbing injuries, Corinth Holders left its mark all week.
“It was definitely one of the better events I’ve gone to baseball-wise,” Cummings said. “A whole lot of talent, you get to showcase your talent to pro and college scouts, so I definitely enjoyed it.”
Representing Region 3, which encapsulates the Triangle area up to the Virginia state line, the Pirates stood out from day one during the pro-style workout in front of scouts. When it came to running the 60-yard dash, Kelley clocked in with the third-fastest time of anyone there. He considers the traditional baseball sprint as one of his strengths.
“The pro-workout day, that was crazy because there’s about 100 (scouts) out there,” Kelley said. “I remember running the 60 and that’s part of my game, I’m a runner, I’ve got speed to play. You get done running your 60 and you hear one huge loud beep from 100 different stop watches.”
Weaver said after showing off his wheels, Kelley received attention from several schools.
When the games began, Cummings stood out for his own playing. He came in and pitched the final two innings of the team’s first game to capture an 8-6 victory over Region 6. That game turned out to be the only loss the eventual Charlotte-area gold medal winners had all week.
“They were definitely, in my opinion, very stacked,” Cummings said. “They had talent all over the field, and I did pretty well. I’m pretty proud of what happened, but I’ve still got to go back to work and get better.”
In game two on June 14, Region 3 fell 7-3 to Region 5. The following day, the team ended up on the wrong side of a close 2-1 decision. But after two straight losses, the team rebounded with a 10-0 shutout of Region 8 in its final game of the week to end on a high note.
Both Cummings and Kelley noted one takeaway from the week was that it was weird to play on the same team as other top players in their conference and area — players who are usually only opponents.
“It went from being kind of like enemies wanting to beat them to pulling for them, so it was different,” Kelley said. “But it was definitely a lot of fun. Anytime you get to play with Coach Weaver, he always has a good time and always wants you to compete, so it’s having fun and competing. That’s what makes the game enjoyable.”
For Weaver, the experience – his fourth year as a state games coach — of coaching different guys than normal allowed him an experience outside of the typical nature of 4-A Northern Athletic Conference play.
“It makes you appreciate the guys that are on your team,” Weaver said. “It gives you an opportunity to be around different guys to catch your breath before you go back and get into it with your players.”
After all the games, the workouts and playing in front of scouts, the players enjoyed an extra opportunity to play alongside other Pirates now that the season is over.
“Getting to play with Matt (Kelley), getting coached by Weaver is always a great experience,” Cummings said. “And I always love being with them.”
To round out the players from the Johnston County area, Cleveland’s Cameron Verrier also played for Region 3.