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GREENSBORO — Poor execution and missed opportunities plagued the Corinth Holders varsity baseball team in game 1 of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A championship series on Saturday against Mooresville at UNC Greensboro Baseball Stadium.
The Pirates (23-7) left three runners in scoring position and made three errors in the 5-2 loss. The Blue Devils (23-9) received a quality start from senior Justin Poris who went seven innings allowing six hits, two earned runs and no walks with five strikeouts.
“We gotta make routine defensive plays, that’s what they did and that’s what we didn’t do,” Corinth Holders head coach Adam Weaver said. “With runners in scoring position, they found a way to get them across and we found ways to leave them out there. That’s going to be the biggest adjustment we make: our approach with runners in scoring position.”
The East Region-champion Pirate scored in the bottom of the first inning as junior Tanner Smith’s leadoff double got the rally started. After Smith stole third, junior Ty Cummings singled to right field to score him. Cummings then stole second and advanced to third on junior Landon Ginn’s groundout. Junior Nick Tyler’s sacrifice fly scored Cummings.
But the Corinth Holders offense stalled for the rest of the day as the Pirates managed only four more hits. The champions of the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference stranded three runners on third.
The Pirates started Cummings, instead of senior Tyler Stufano who pitched 13 scoreless innings in the East Region final last week. Cummings held Mooresville, co-champion of the 4-A I-Meck Conference, scoreless for the first two frames, but in the third inning, the Blue Devils put up two runs. Cummings gave up three runs in the fifth inning, one on a passed ball and one on a throwing error by freshman catcher Alex Levesque.
Game 2 of the three-game series will be at 5 p.m. today. If the Pirates win, they would force a game 3 on Sunday with a time to be determined. Stufano said before game 1 that he will pitch game 2.
Score by innings:
Mooresville 002 030 0 — 5
Corinth Holders 200 000 0 — 2
WP-Justin Poris 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB 5 SO. LP-Ty Cummings 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Corinth Holders: Tanner Smith 3-3, 2B; Ty Cummings 1-3, RBI; Matt Kelley 1-3, 3B. Mooresville: Davis Turner 1-4, 2 RBIs; Cameron Clonch 1-3, RBI; Nick Merriman 1-3, RBI.