Prep Baseball: Patriots pin streak-halting loss on Randleman

Logan Fox of Providence Grove had a role in tight baseball games with Randleman last week. (Randolph Record file photo)

Providence Grove did what might have seemed like the unthinkable in Piedmont Athletic Conference baseball last week.

The Patriots knocked off state power Randleman and ended a multi-year streak of domination.

“Probably was unexpected,” Providence Grove coach Glen Hunt said. “Not a lot of people thought we could go in and win that game.”

Providence Grove’s 3-2 victory halted Randleman’s 38-game winning streak against conference opponents that spread across parts of five seasons.

And two days later, the Patriots nearly did it again.

Providence Grove’s stunning victory came on Lemuel Coltrane’s three-run home run in the fourth inning at Randleman. How unusual was that?

It’s the only home run hit by the Patriots in what’s now 16 games played this year.

That blast off Seth Way followed singles by Andrew Canter and Joe Coltrane, that latter an attempted sacrifice bunt that turned into a single. Lemuel Coltrane, a right-handed batter, drove the ball over the fence in left-center field.

“He got ahold of a fastball and it went out,” Hunt said.

Freshman Andrew Thomas threw a three-hitter with three walks and seven strikeouts to frustrate an often-potent Randleman offense.

“That game really went fast,” Hunt said. “All of a sudden, I looked up and it’s the sixth inning and we’ve still got the lead.”

The Tigers hadn’t lost a game to a conference opponent since April 25, 2019, to Providence Grove. Two days earlier that year, the Patriots also defeated Randleman.

After that week, the Tigers went on their conference domination, including a May 2, 2019, victory against Providence Grove in the league tournament final.

The pandemic limited Randleman to one conference game in 2020 before the rest of that season was cancelled. The Tigers were 8-0 in PAC play this season before the loss.

The outcome ended Randleman’s nine-game overall winning streak this season.

Last Thursday, Randleman avenged that outcome with a 3-2 victory of its own against Providence Grove. Austin Lemons pitched a complete game while allowing one earned run and Hunter Atkins drove in two runs and Shawn Miller scored two runs for the Tigers.

“We played some pretty good defense in that game,” Hunt said.

Logan Fox had two of Providence Grove’s five hits off Lemons. Lemuel Coltrane doubled and scored, but Canter’s 5 2/3 innings on the mound went for naught. The loss means the Patriots can’t catch Randleman in the regular-season standings.

Only Trinity with two conference losses and four league games to go can move to the top. That would require beating the Tigers twice this week.

Providence Grove has split four conference series to hold a 4-4 PAC mark and 10-6 record entering this week.

“Hopefully, the kids realize what they can do,” Hunt said. “Beating a team like Randleman should solidify that.”

** Southwestern Randolph won twice against Wheatmore, posting a 7-3 road victory as Grant Little pitched into the sixth inning without allowing an earned run in the PAC game. Adam Cole and Tyler Parks both had two hits, including a double apiece, and Grant Kirk scored two runs.

Later in the week at Asheboro, Austin Harvell’s grand slam in the sixth inning clicked in the mercy rule in a 12-1 romp. Cole launched a three-run home run, Easton Clapp had three hits and scored three runs and Parks had two runs batted in. Jonah Campbell’s 5 1/3 innings on the mound earned him the victory.

In between those games, Southwestern Randolph hammered visiting Jordan-Matthews 18-6 as Eli Gravely drilled a home run and joined Harvell with three runs batted in.

** Jake Hunter and Brett Smith combined for Uwharrie Charter Academy’s 3-0 shutout of host Eastern Randolph.

In the rematch, UCA won 4-3 at home in 10 innings with Troy Carver and Caleb Brown knocking in runs in the 10th, which began with the score tied 1-1. The winning run scored on a passed ball. Eastern Randolph’s Stratton Barwick struck out 12 in seven innings.

UCA topped host Winston-Salem Atkins 11-2 in non-league play with Walker Wilkins driving in three runs in the Eagles’ first outing of a three-win week.

Asheboro’s Josh Meadows, left, Tanner Marsh and Davis Gore stand during the national anthem Saturday prior to a game at First National Bank Field in Greensboro. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

** At Greensboro, Asheboro finished 1-2 in a three-day tournament at First National Bank Field.

Asheboro salvaged the seventh-place game on Tanner Marsh’s game-winning double in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 2-1 victory against Northern Guilford on Saturday. Marsh struck out 10 in a six-inning pitching performance before Connor Adams worked the seventh for the victory.

Earlier, the Blue Comets lost 13-6 to Southeast Guilford and fell 2-1 to Western Alamance.

By Bob Sutton