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Two Stanly baseball teams qualify for 2021 state playoffs

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released the pairings for this season’s high school baseball state playoffs. Two Stanly teams qualified for the postseason, both playing Tuesday.

2A Playoffs

Fresh off the team’s third straight Rocky River Conference regular-season and tournament titles, West Stanly will host a game in the opening round of the playoffs in the 2A Western Region.

West (13-1) enters the playoffs on a 12-game win streak.

Using the same random draw softball did this year, West drew the No. 2 seed and will host No. 15 South Rowan.

The Raiders (12-3) finished in third place in the Central Carolina Conference regular-season standings behind North Davidson and Oak Grove. South Rowan enters the playoffs having won seven games in a row, including the CCC tournament title posting wins over both North Davidson and Oak Grove.

With a win, West Stanly would host either No. 7 Madison or No. 10 Oak Grove in the next round of the playoffs Thursday.

1A Playoffs

The North Stanly Comets finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record, finishing second in the Yadkin Valley Conference with a 6-1 mark. North’s only loss in conference play came last week to the eventual conference champions from Uwharrie Charter, 10-2.

North opened the season with non-conference losses to West Stanly (8-7) and Mount Pleasant (2-0) but won six games in a row. The Comets’ only other loss this season was a non-conference game with South Stanly.

Junior Luke Shaver led North this season in batting average (.486), hits (18) and doubles (3). Shaver and junior Hayden Furr (.406 avg., 13 hits, 2 doubles) each led the Comets with 13 runs batted in.

As a team, the Comets batted .319 overall in 12 games.

Freshman Cole Smith led the Comets in pitching wins, finishing 3-2 overall with a 3.61 earned-run average. He started seven games for North, striking out 46 batters to 13 walks; opponents batted .155 against Smith this season.

As a staff, North has a 2.64 ERA and opponents batted .143 against the Comets this season.

The Comets are the No. 9 seeded team in the 1A Western Region and will go on the road Tuesday to face the No. 8 Mountain Island Charter Raptors.

Mountain Island (10-2, 10-2 conf.) won the PAC 7 conference title, losing twice to the Community School of Davidson to finish the regular season.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will either host No. 16 Christ The King or travel into the mountains to take on top-seeded Hayesville.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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