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Vikings baseball, softball onto 3-A regional finals

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D.H. Conley's Robbie O'Neal pitches during a game against Fike on May 17, 2019. (Molly Urbina/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, May 17, 2019

Another busy night at Hollywood Crossroads Friday resulted in the Vikings baseball and softball teams advancing to the 3-A East Regional Finals, which begin Tuesday. 

The second-seeded baseball team topped three-seed Fike, 9-5.

Led by UNC-Greensboro commit Robbie O’Neal on the mound, DHC defeated what head coach Jason Mills described as a team that was every bit as good as their record. 

O’Neal pitched 4.2 innings, allowing just one run on six hits, while giving up two walks, striking out five batters. He also had a spectacular night from the plate, going three-for-four, hitting a double and recording two RBI’s. Chandler Baldree (2-for-2, R, SB) also had a strong night. 

“Fike is a really good team, that’s what ids going to stand out about this game,” Mills said. “They are exactly what their record says, they were the best baseball team we’ve played this year. Robbie gave us a great outing, he struggled at times, but he worked through some big jams.”

Mills also praised senior shortstop Jake Lysaght, who made a spectactular recovery to turn a double play in the games final frame.

“The biggest play of the game was the double play Jake turned,” Mills said. “That ball took a terrible hop. I don’t know how he made that play and turned two. It was a really fun night.” 

The Vikings will now face an even larger test, knocking off overall one-seed New Hanover. Mills said his team will enjoy the win, but will then quickly turn their attention to the top team in the state. 

“We’re gonna enjoy the win and celebrate tonight and enjoy this,” Mills said. “We got a tough bill. You got a top five team in the country, with a top two round draft pick on their team. Their catcher is unbelievable, but we’ve gotten into some dogfights with them before and it should be a good series.”

Less than a football field away, softball fans were treated to nail-biter, as the top-seeded Vikings defeated fifth-seed Southern Alamance, 3-2. 

After gaining a two-run lead heading into the seventh inning off another stellar performance from pitcher Lauren Wiles, Conley looked to close the door and walk away with another win. The Patriots had other plans, as they hit a two-run homerun with two outs to extend the life of the game and put the pressure back onto DHC.

Anna Sawyer earned a walked, followed by hits from Lexi Phillips and Carson Fleming. It was catcher Maggie Craig who was the hero, as a hit to centerfield dropped between the outfield shift, allowing Sawyer to run home and end the game in a thrilling fashion. 

“Maggie is a battler,” head coach Wayne Deans said of Craig at the plate. “She battled behind the plate tonight. We said, “any type of ball that we can tag on, foul or fair, do it.’ The hit was kind of shallow, but Anna is a good baserunner. She was smart and knew to tag, it was going to be a close play at the plate either way.” 

The Vikings will match-up with two-seed Eastern Alamance in the East Regional final.

DHC’s girls soccer team fell short, falling in a hard fought 1-0 game to fifth-seeded Clayton. 

The squad will graduate two seniors, Gabby Kirkman and Haven Best, both of which will play at Cape Fear Community College. 

“It was definitely a tough game tonight,” head coach Maren Carbajal said. “We knew we had to come out strong, and we struggled with that at the beginning. That first half was really hard for us, and that’s when they got ahead. We fought to the end.”

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

TRACK AND FIELD

Regionals complete, teams compete at states

The D.H. Conley boys’ track and field team finished 10th at the 3-A East Regional meet with 29 points.

Seth McKinney and Conley's 4x800-meter relay team of Eli Orians, Jalen Wilson, AJ Miller and Zach Tucker qualified for the state competition. McKinney was fourth in the East 3,200m race with a time of 10 minutes, 14 seconds to advance to states. He also was fifth in the 1,600 in a school-record 4:34. The relay team placed second with a school-record time of 8:12.

Conley’s girls’ team was 17th with 13 points. Ariana Crumpler was a state qualifier in the discus by placing second with a throw of 117-0.

Other local athletes competing in the state competition, which will finish this afternoon, included the following:

South Central: Kendrick Britton, Omica Daniels, Kevone Harris, Jyquan Sheppard and Brandon Hardy; Farmville Central: Kendrall Holt and Keziah Everett; Ayden Grifton: Alexis Blount, Zykievah Andrews, Aale’yah Harris, Keshawn Bass, the 4x100 girls team, 4x200 girls teams and the 4x400 girls team; North Pitt: Tylon Whitehurst and Nautika Newton; J.H. Rose: Jahquarius Daniels, Daishon Donalds, Micheal Allen, Jordan Sales, Janequa Wilson, 4x400 and 4x200 boys relays teams and the 4x200 and 4x100 girls relay teams; D.H Conley: Crumpler, Emma Cole, Haley Ferrell, Jalen Wilson, Zach Tucker McKinney, Nathan Geyer and the 4x800 boys and girls teams.

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