UCA, Eastern Randolph advance to Class 1-A showdown; Randleman’s reign ends in Class 2-A upset

Coach Rob Shore has guided Uwharrie Charter Academy deep into the state playoffs in his first season in that role. (Randolph Record)

There will be a Randolph County baseball team in the state finals.

It won’t be Randleman.

Either Uwharrie Charter Academy or Eastern Randolph will be in the Class 1-A state championship series in the first weekend of June. Those teams will meet in a best-of-3 West Regional final.

Two-time defending Class 2-A state champion Randleman was bounced in Friday night’s fourth round by Eden Morehead.

Here’s a recap of how it has shaken out:

Class 1-A

The only two Class 1-A teams in the Piedmont Athletic Conference are the only survivors in the classification in the West Region.

Games 1 and, if necessary, Game 3 will be at UCA.

Second-seeded UCA needed eight innings to top third-seeded Draughn 5-4 in Friday night’s fourth round. Carter Brown’s two-out single drove in Grat Dalton with the winning run.

Logun Wilkins was the winning pitcher in relief by logging two innings. The Eagles (18-10) have played every state-playoff game at home.

No. 21 seed Eastern Randolph won its fourth consecutive road game, upending Union Academy 13-6 on Friday night.

UCA shared second place in the PAC. Eastern Randolph (8-17) was last in the league.

UCA defeated Eastern Randolph 3-0 (on April 11) and 4-3 (on April 13) in the regular season.

In Tuesday’s third round, Eastern Randolph slipped past No. 13 seed Highland Tech 3-1, while UCA toppled No. 10 seed North Stokes 11-4.

For UCA, Dalton had three hits and scored two runs. Brett Smith pitched 5 1/3 innings for the victory.

Class 2-A

Second-seeded Randleman’s run came to a halt with a 5-0 loss to visiting Eden Morehead on Friday night.

Randleman had won 13 consecutive games in the state playoffs dating to a Game 2 loss in the 2021 championship series, a result that was avenged later that same day in a decisive Game 3 against Rutherfordton-Spindale Central.

The Tigers (23-5) had outscored their previous three opponents in this year’s state playoffs by a combined 37-8 tally.

In being eliminated, Randleman managed just two hits – a Hunter Atkins double and a Braxton Walker single.

Anderson Nance struck out 10 batters without issuing a walk for Eden Morehead (23-5), ), which had its first margin of more than two runs in any of its state-playoff games.

It was only the third time that Randleman gave up as many as five runs in a game this season. Austin Lemons was charged with all five runs, though only two were earned, in six innings.

Randleman topped visiting East Davidson 7-3 in Tuesday night’s third round to push its winning streak to seven games.

By Randolph Record