The Midway baseball team opened the 2016 NCHSAA Baseball Playoffs hosting the Bertie Falcons. After a thunderstorm delayed the start time by about an hour and a half, the Raiders cashed in on a strong batting performance to beat the visitors 10-0 in six innings.
The Raiders got things started in the bottom of the first inning as Greg Nobles led off with a single into a left field. The Falcons retired the next two Midway batters, but a pair of singles by Dustin Holland and Adam Butler advanced Nobles around the bases for the early 1-0 lead.
Midway was able to add another run in the bottom of the second inning after Austin Raynor singled to left field to get a board and was bunted over to second by Carson Calcutt. A pair of grounders by Nobles and Wesley Johnson brought Raynor the rest of the way to increase their lead to 2-0.
Midway again added to its lead in the bottom of the third inning. Adam Butler drove a one out triple into right field and was then bunted home by Jake Baggett for the score and the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Johnson led the inning off by reaching second after an errant throw to first off an infield grounder. Austin Peterson was sent in to pinch run and was scored two batters later after Holland hit a single into left field. The Raider lead was now 4-0.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Midway blew the game open, generating six runs to run its lead to 10-0 for the game-ending mercy rule.
Austin Raynor led the inning off, sending a sharp hit ball into center field for a single. Raynor would later steal second and was then scored by a Nobles single into center field. The Raiders has runners on first and second with one after Johnson was hit by a pitch and Peterson was called on again to pinch run. Landon Dorman doubled to left center to score Nobles, followed by a single to deep center by Holland to score Peterson and make the score 7-0.
The flurry of runs continued as Butler singled in to left field to score Dorman and Brayden Coats, who was pinch running for Holland, to make the score 9-0. The game would mercifully come to an end after two wild pitches allowed Butler to cross the plate for the 10th and final run.
Dustin Holland went the distance for Midway on Wednesday, earning the win and not allowing any runs. After the game, Raider head coach Jason Fussell commended his pitcher. “Dustin steps up, he’s really been solid for us this year,” said the Raider head coach.
Coach Fussell also praised Greg Nobles, who was the leader for Midway at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. “Greg did a great job tonight, especially hitting the fast ball,” he said. “He worked the count and got the pitches he wanted and connected.”
Fussell was especially proud of his team’s overall improvement throughout the course of the season.
“This isn’t bad for a team that started 2-7 and was last in the conference,” he said. “We’ve come a long way. We’ve settled into certain roles and play them.”
With the win, Midway will now travel to Edenton to take on Holmes, who is in the same conference as Bertie. Holmes defeated Bertie in two close games during the season. Game day and time is TBD.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected]