Baseball Season Ends for Orange, Cedar Ridge

Updated: May 13, 2018

Orange and Cedar Ridge’s baseball seasons ended on Saturday, but that’s about the only thing the two teams had in common this weekend.

In Fayetteville, Cedar Ridge’s game against Terry Sanford went down to the wire. In Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill Tigers pounced on Orange early and proved why they were the best team in the Big 8 this season.

Cedar Ridge went to the bottom of the sixth inning tied with Terry Sanford 4-4 after Adam Chnupa, in his final at-bat for the Red Wolves, smoke a 85-mile-per-hour fastball over the centerfield wall. But those would be the last runs of the Cedar Ridge season.

East Carolina recruit Christian Jayne, who earned the victory on the mound for the Bulldogs, stroked a go-ahead double in the bottom of the inning. Andrew Jayne followed with a two-run homer to centerfield to seal Sanford’s 7-4 victory.

The Red Wolves end the season 18-6, the most victories they’ve had in a season since 2006.

Senior Chris Cox laced a two-run homer in the first to immediately give Cedar Ridge the lead. Sanford’s Christian Jayne responded with a solo blast to right field in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead in half.

The Red Wolves squandered plenty of chances to extend its lead. They left the bases loaded in the second. In the third, Cox and Sailor Ramos were left stranded in scoring position.

The Bulldogs’ Justin Ebert pounded a double to centerfield to start the fourth. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch, pitcher Logan Brown laced a two-run double to right to gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth, Cedar Ridge tied the game. Shortstop Dante DeFranco hit a leadoff double down the left field line. Senior Erik Zehnder lined a two-out single to left field to score DeFranco.

It was the final game for Ramos, Cox, Zehnder, Chnupa, third baseman Landon Badger and Nicholas Starr.

Ramos ends the year with a team-best .439 batting average. He led the team with 29 hits and 23 RBIs. Cox and Chnupa tied for the team lead with three home runs.

In Chapel Hill, a rare battle of Orange County rivals in the state playoffs could have set the table for drama and intensity. Instead, Chapel Hill scored eight runs in the first inning and an intense playoff atmosphere turned into a leisurely stroll into the Round of 16 as the Tigers won 15-3.

After Chapel Hill’s Tyler Tachman flew out to Orange centerfielder Jaydin Poteat in the first inning, nine consecutive Tigers reached base and eight of them scored.

Tyler Hansen scored the first run after Ryan Lonegan drew a bases-loaded walk. Colin Liebe, who singled off of Orange starter Will White, tallied a run after a wild pitch. Anthony Castellano reached on a catcher’s interference call and scored after Drew Govert lined a ball off the third baseman’s glove.

The only positives on the night from Orange came when junior first baseman Trey Clayton lined a opposite field double to right, scoring Mark Willms. Caige Clayton, in his final game, led off the fourth with a single to left. After catcher Cooper Porter singled to right, Clayton scored off an RBI groudout by senior Dalton Brown.

In the fifth, Poteat singled in his final at-bat as a Panther, ending his career with a nine-game hitting streak. Joey Berini reached on a fielder’s choice and scored off a triple by Jason Slaughter.

Slaughter, who will play in college at Belmont Abbey, led Orange with 27 hits and 24 RBIs this season. Orange finishes the year 13-11.

It was the final game for Poteat, Slaughter, Clayton, Willms, pitcher Kaymin Matsko (who earned the win on Saturday in the state playoffs), Clayton, White and Brian Werden.

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