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Pirates crash in the ‘ship

Corinth Holders swept in 4-A championship series

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GREENSBORO — A season full of accomplishments for the Corinth Holders High varsity baseball team ended Saturday as Mooresville swept the Pirates in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A championship series Saturday at UNC Greensboro Baseball Stadium. An 8-2 final score was the final dagger in a 23-8 season for the Pirates that included the first state championship appearance in program history. The Blue Devils finished the season 24-9 to win the first state championship in program history. The most valuable player of the series was Mooresville senior pitcher Justin Poris after he pitched a complete game in game 1 and picked up the win. Corinth Holders never got into a rhythm, but managed to push across the two runs in the third inning after an error on the catcher and a wild pitch allowed Tanner Smith and Dalton Wood to score from third. Similar to game 1, the Pirates left three runners in scoring position — two of those runners were on third base. “When you come out here to play two games in one day, and you don’t play well one day of the year. … It’s kind of hard knowing that your team could have one bad day and not be state champions,” Corinth Holders head coach Adam Weaver said. “We came in today and told them to win the day and we didn’t win the day.” The Pirates pitching staff was hindered by junior ace Landon Ginn being unable to pitch with a bad back. Ginn was able to bat today after uncertainty over his availability after leaving game 3 of the East Region finals series. Ginn finished with one walk in five plate appearances Saturday. With Ginn unavailable, senior Tyler Stufano got the call to extend Corinth Holders’ season. Stufano, the hero of the regional final series with 13 scoreless innings and two wins, was not able to come through Saturday. After two scoreless innings, the Blue Devils used a hit and two walks to load the bases with no outs. Junior Cameron Clonch’s double scored two before senior Davis Turner’s single scored Clonch and senior Blake Burchett. Mooresville put up two more on Stufano in the fourth inning before Weaver took him out. Sophomore reliever Matt Poole allowed two runs to score in the fifth inning, before junior Gabe Brewington came in and closed the game out. The Pirates were outhit 8-3 in game 2. “We didn’t come through with the opportunities we were having, but that’s baseball and that doesn’t take away from what this group has done,” Weaver said.

In the program’s eight-year history, the 2019 Pirates had the most wins in program history and the 41 wins in the last two seasons is the best two-year win total. This comes two years after Corinth Holders moved up a classification to 4-A. The Pirates will lose three seniors — Stufano, Wood and Carson Mickey. With a junior class that includes six starters — three of whom are committed to NCAA Division I programs — four sophomores and a freshman, expectations are high heading into next season. In fact, Burchett came over to Weaver after the game and told him that the Pirates would be back here next year. “Right now, I’m just trying to enjoy this one and worry about next year, starting over the summer,” Weaver said. “This team has shown us the ropes and builds another layer on that foundation. It’s just a matter of can we get back here in this situation, and if we do I like our team’s chances.” Weaver added, “My hat just goes off to this team. I can’t be more excited about what they’ve done for the program, for each other and for the community.” Score by innings: Corinth Holders 002 000 0 — 2 Mooresville 004 220 0 — 8 WP-Nick Merriman 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO. LP-Tyler Stufano 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO. LEADING HITTERS— Corinth Holders: Dalton Wood 1-2; Tanner Smith 1-3; Zane Blinson 1-3, 2B. Mooresville: Cameron Clonch 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Davis Turner 1-3, 2 RBIs; Tafton Hensley 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs.