UCA Eagles put down hammer in baseball regional final

UCA infielder Caleb Stickle makes a throw during a game earlier this spring. (Randolph Record file photo)

Strong pitching carries team back to Class 1A state finals

MOUNT AIRY – Uwharrie Charter Academy’s baseball team made a definitive statement in the winner-take-all game of the Class 1A West Region finals.

The Eagles blasted Mount Airy 12-0 in Saturday night’s Game 3 of the best-of-3 finals to keep alive their hopes of repeating as state champions.

Logun Wilkins pitched a shutout to continue the team’s dominating work from the mound. The Eagles allowed one run across the three games.

“Our pitching staff was unreal,” UCA coach Rob Shore said. “Phenomenal pitching and phenomenal defense.”

UCA used a nine-run seventh inning to clinch the title.

“Just take a deep breath and we’re going to be just fine,” Shore said. “I think everybody contributed in our lineup.”

UCA (26-6), which has dropped only one game since March, will meet Northside-Pinetown (22-6) in the best-of-3 state championship series beginning Friday.

Top-seeded Mount Airy (26-3) evened the regional series with Thursday night’s 1-0 victory on Game 2 on Kam Hawks’ two-hitter that included four walks.

UCA pitcher Brett Smith gave up only two hits, but one was a two-out triple by Landon Cox in the first inning to drive in the run.

The Eagles’ hits were singles by Caleb Stickle and Carter Brown.

UCA won Game 1 by 4-0 on Tuesday night at Mount Airy behind Jake Hunter’s six-hitter with seven strikeouts.

Walker Wilkins drove in two runs and joined Trey Kennedy with two hits. Losing pitcher Brison George had three hits for the Granite Bears.

The East Region also was extended to a third game, with Northside-Pinetown prevailing against East Wake Academy in Friday’s decisive game. The Panthers have won eight of their last nine games.

The title series Friday and Saturday will be contested at Burlington Athletic Stadium or Ting Stadium in Holly Springs.

By Randolph Record