Cedar Ridge Baseball

The Will to Win: White Throws 3-Hitter as Orange Shuts Out Cedar Ridge 8-0

For the sixth straight year, the Orange baseball team defended its home field against their crosstown rivals, and they have their senior pitcher to thank for it.

The Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 8-0 on Wednesday night in front of over 300 fans at Panther Field behind a three-hit shutout from Will  White, who earned his third straight win. White has now thrown 12 consecutive scoreless innings.

Orange pounded out ten hits, including Mark Willms going 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Sophomore shortstop Joey Berini also went 2-for-3 with a double, while first baseman Dalton Brown went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.

Every player in the Orange lineup got on base. Catcher Caige Clayton, who slugged a two-run homer against East Chapel Hill two weeks ago, had a sacrifice fly RBI.

Cooper Porter, Colin Guentensberger and Cooper Hench also had doubles as Orange remained tied with Chapel Hill for first place in the Big 8 with a 4-1 record.

Cedar Ridge (4-3, 2-3) dropped its second straight. The Red Wolves were held to a season-low in hits and shut out for the first time this season. Cedar Ridge is now in sixth place in the Big 8 with a 2-3 record, which makes Thursday’s rematch with the Panthers all the more urgent.

Phil Berger took the loss for the Red Wolves.

Hillsborough Sports.com will broadcast the Orange-Cedar Ridge game live starting at 6.

Cedar Ridge & Orange Prepare for Baseball Series with More Than Bragging Rights at Stake

Photo from Dave Lindaman. For more information, go to https://orangesportslindaman.smugmug.com/

Regardless of whether your wear burgundy or orange, there’s a piece of news that everyone can be happy about.

The March snow appears to be officially gone for 2018.

Its much aniticpated departure will lead to temperatures in the 70s, just in time for a crucial two-game baseball series between Orange and Cedar Ridge starting Tuesday at OHS (first pitch at 6).

Last May, Cedar Ridge captured the series finale from its crosstown rivals 6-0. It was the first time the Red Wolves defeated Orange since 2012.

This week, there’s more than bragging rights on the line.

In the new look Big 8 Conference, there are six very good baseball teams and only four guaranteed state playoff spots.

Orange enters the week tied for first in the Big 8 with Northwood, East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill with a 3-1 league record. Cedar Ridge comes in tied with Northern Durham for 5th at 2-2.

The Red Wolves received a tough draw to open conference play. Its first three Big 8 series are against the top teams from the Big 8 from 2017. The Red Wolves split their opening two-game series against defending Big 8 Champion Northwood and runner-up Chapel Hill (who tied with Orange for 2nd). The good news is they close the season with less-seasoned teams Southern Durham and Hillside.

Orange, 5-4 overall after losing to C.B. Aycock 7-2 on Saturday in Wilson, quickly swept Hillside in a doubleheader on Friday by scores of 12-0 and 11-1.

The opening pitching matchup on Tuesday will likely match two hurlers who threw their best games at the end of last season.

Cedar Ridge junior Phil Berger tossed a one-hitter against Orange last year, and that was on an infield single by Jason Slaughter which could have easily been scored an error. The following week, Berger earned the victory in a 4-1 victory over Nash Central in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs. Against the Bulldogs, Berger yielded just three hits, striking out five.

Berger will be opposed by Orange senior Will White, who also took a win in the 3A state playoffs last spring when he held Southern Lee to four hits in a 2-1 win in Sanford. This season, White is 2-1 after wins over Eden Morehead and Hillside, along with a 7-5 loss to East Chapel Hill.

Both teams have plenty of experience from last year. Cedar Ridge has seven starters back from last season. Only Brandon Andrews and Simon Little graduated for the Red Wolves.

Orange has six starters back after losing first baseman Eric Nichols, catcher/pitcher Ryan Puckett and catcher Dylan Hall.

The Red Wolves have power with 1st baseman Chris Cox, who has two homers this season. CRHS’ middle infield tandem of Jake and Dante DeFranco are usually in the top of the batting order and solid contact hitters.

For Orange, leadoff batter Jaydin Poteat has stolen eleven bases this season. Catch Caige Clayton swatted a two-run homer in the 8th inning of a crucial 9-8 win at East Chapel Hill on March 16th.

It’s also the final series for both teams before Easter break, which means both teams are gearing up for the Hilltop Invitational. Orange and Cedar Ridge will host three games over the course of three days starting next Thursday. Cedar Ridge will host First Colonia (of Virginia Beach, Virgnia) on Thursday, April 5th; Wake County HomeSchool on April 6th and Jordan on April 7th.

Orange will welcome Wake County HomeSchool on April 5th; First Colonia on April 6th and Panther Creek on April 7th.

Alumni Update; Davidson Named SEC Rookie of the Week Again; Cates Homers as Lenoir-Rhyne Wins 13th Straight

Mia Davidson: Last week, Davidson was named the SEC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. Davidson knocked eight hits, six of which went for extra bases, as the Bulldogs earned wins over Boston College, Illinois and UMass Lowell. Davidson is the first Bulldog to be honored with the award twice in a season since pitcher Alexis Silkwood in 2014. Over the weekend, Mississippi State took two of three games in its opening conference series against Missouri in Columbia, MO. In the Bulldogs’ 4-0 victory on Friday, Davidson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. In Sunday’s 6-3 Mississippi State win, Davidson hit her 10th homer of the year in the 3rd inning. In the 4th inning, she drew a bases-loaded walk for her 29th RBI, tied for the team lead.

Brad Debo: For the first time in program history, N.C. State completed a three-game sweep at Clemson over the weekend. N.C. State is now 18-3, 5-1 in the ACC. Former Orange catcher Brad Debo started all three games, drawing two walks in Friday’s 4-0 win over the Tigers. Last Tuesday in an 15-11 win over UNC Asheville, Debo went 2-for-2 with an RBI single.

Mackenzie Cates: The Lenoir-Rhyne softball team went 6-0 last week, running its winning streak to 13. Former Orange catcher Mackenzie Cates hit .347 for the week, including a home run during the second game of a 3-1 doubleheader win over Tusculum in Greensville, Tennessee. In the opening game of the doubleheader against Pioneers, Cates went 2-for-4. On Thursday, the Bears swept a doubleheader from USC-Aiken in Aiken, South Carolina on scores of 9-0 and 5-0. In the opening game of the doubleheader, Cates went 2-for-4 and scored three runs. In the final game, Cates again went 2-for-4. This season, Cates is hitting .351 with seven doubles. She leads the team with five home runs and 21 RBIs.

Stephen Tanner: The former Cedar Ridge Goalkeeper made eight saves while facing 41 shots against Huntingdon in a 5-4 loss in a USA South Athletic Conference (Division III) match in Montgomery, Alabama on Saturday. Tanner has started eleven games this season, recording a 6-4 record. He is 5th in the South Atlantic Conference with an 8.21 Goals Against Average and 7th with a 48.9% save percentage. Greensboro is 7-4 on the season.

Brandon Andrews: In his freshman year with Nicholls, Andrews threw two-thirds of an inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Houston Baptist in a 13-4 loss on Saturday. Andrews gave up two hits and an earned run. On Friday, Andrews threw 1 and two-thirds innings of middle relief, giving up one hit and striking out one as the Colonels defeated HBU 5-4.

Rachel Peel: Rachel Peel had a double as Meredith rallied to defeat Averett University 8-7 on Saturday. Peel also started in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Greensboro College.

Bowen Collins: The former Orange High star assisted on a goal as Lenoir-Rhyne defeated Tusculum 14-10 on Saturday. On the season, Collins has played in five games, scoring two goals and two assists. The Bears are now #3 Division II team in the country with an 8-1 record, 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. Lenoir-Rhyne has won 18 consecutive South Atlantic Conference regular season games.

Jordan Toney: In UNC Pembroke’s 12-6 win over Winston-Salem State on Friday, Toney threw a shutout inning of relief. The Braves are now ranked #25 in Division II.

Cole Churchill:  A former Cedar Ridge defenseman, Churchill saw action for Randolph-Macon on Saturday as the Yellow Jackets lost to Washington & Lee 12-6.

Berger Throws 4-Hitter, Laces RBI Double to Help Cedar Ridge Baseball Beat Chapel Hill 3-1

In the span of five days, the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves have gone from being blown out in Pittsboro to beating two state playoff teams in consecutive games.

Last Wednesday, Cedar Ridge junior pitcher Phillip Berger was ripped by Northwood for eleven hits  and 13 runs in a 19-7 loss to Northwood.

Then came Monday. Pitching a day earlier than originally scheduled due to rain forecasts, Berger returned to the poised, calm hurler that posted a 8-2 record in 2017.

On Monday, Berger threw a complete game four-hitter, striking out four while walking just one. Berger also laced an RBI double to left field on a day when hits were at a premium.

The Red Wolves defeated Chapel Hill 3-1 at Red Wolves Stadium Monday afternoon, its second straight win over a Big 8 team that made the state playoffs. The victory followed Friday’s 3-2 victory over Northwood in Hillsborough.

Chapel Hill left nine runners on base in losing its first conference game of the season. The Tigers (6-2, 2-1) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

CHHS starter Jake Smith suffered his first loss of the sesaon despite giving up only three hits in five innings. Smith, a senior, went 6-2 with a .58 ERA last season.

In their first at-bat, Chapel Hill put leadoff batter Tyler Tachman (who reached on an error) at third and Anthony Castellanon at second with two out, but Berger struck out designated hitter Ryan Lonegan to end the inning. The Tiger wouldn’t have another baserunner until the fourth inning as Berger set down nine Tigers in a row.

Sophomore second baseman Jake DeFranco got the first of Cedar Ridge’s three hits in the bottom of the third inning when he singled to left field to score Adam Chnupa for the opening run of the game. It was the first of three straight innings where Cedar Ridge scored.

In the fourth, designated hitter Sailor Ramos drew a one-out walk. Berger followed by lacing a double to left field that reached the fence, scoring Ramos to push Cedar Ridge’s lead to 2-0.

Red Wolves catcher Cooper Lamb led off the fifth inning with a double to left field, the only time all day Cedar Ridge put the leadoff batter on board in an inning. Nicholas Starr replaced Lamb as a courtesy runner. After Starr went to third on a throwing error, DeFranco drew a walk. After Dante DeFranco popped out to the catcher, Smith was called for a balk, allowing Starr to score.

Chapel Hill’s only run came in the 7th when Adam Guskiewicz drew a leadoff walk. Tachman roped a one-out single to left to send pinch-runner Troy Capalbo to second. After Tyler Hansen flew out to centerfielder Landon Badgett, Colin Liebe looped a single to right field to bring in Capalbo. However, on the next at-bat, Castellano grounded a fielder’s choice ball to shortstop Dante DeFranco, who flipped over to Jake DeFranco at second to retire Liebe and end the game.

Cedar Ridge is slated to travel to Chapel Hill on Friday to conclude the series.

Cedar Ridge Pitcher Phillip Berger Talks Throwing 4-Hitter in Win over Chapel Hill

Phillip Berger nearly had his first shutout of the season against Chapel Hill on Monday. He yielded only four hits as the Red Wolves won its second straight, defeating the Tigers 3-1. Berger retired nine in a row during the middle innings. In the 3rd inning, Berger laced a double to left field to drive in the game’s opening run. Cedar Ridge is now 2-1 in the Big 8 Conference as they prepare to travel to Chapel Hill on Friday.


Orange, Cedar Ride Baseball Drop Big 8 Openers

In what figures to be a deep Big 8 Conference, Orange and Cedar Ridge starting their league campaigns on the wrong foot.

In mid-40 degree temperatures in Pittsboro Wednesday night, defending Big 8 Conference Champion Northwood routed the Red Wolves 19-7.

Things couldn’t have started much better for the Red Wolves. Adam Chunupa led off the game with a solo homer to center field. Cedar Ridge pushed the lead to 2-0 after catcher Connnor Lamb double to center to score Matthew Kahn, who reached on a walk.

From there on, it was total Northwood domination. The Chargers scored seven runs in the second inning, six in the third and six more in the fourth. Northwood (4-2, 1-0 in the Big 8) batted around in three consecutive innings, pounding out 17 hits.

Charger shortstop Michael Posse, a freshman who transferred from Georgia during the summer, hit two doubles in the 2nd inning. He led off the 2nd with a two-bagger, which was followed by a single from Deuce Powell. After Zack Sipe walked to load the bases, David Palermo hit an RBI single to left. Zizzy Newell lined an 0-2 fastball down the left field line to score Powell and Sipe. Second baseman Bryce Davis grounded a seeing-eye single over the middle to bring in Palermo and Newell.

Trailing 13-2 in the fourth, Cedar Ridge did score five runs. Landon Badgeett lined a one-out single to left. After Chnupa reached on a fielder’s choice, Jake DeFranco walked to load the bases. Dante DeFranco followed with a double to the left field fence. Chris Cox followed with a three-run homer to reduce the Northwood lead to 13-7.

Dante DeFranco finished 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBI. Badger went 2-for-2, while Lamb went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Cedar Ridge will host Northwood on Friday in Hillsborough.

On Thursday, East Chapel Hill’s Jeb Byerley’s double scored Bryce Jeske and C.J. Di Benedetto in the fifth inning to help East Chapel Hill defeat Orange 7-5 at Panther Field.

Orange (2-3, 0-1 in the Big 8) battled back from a 4-0 deficit to breifly take the lead in the 4th. Collin Guentensberger doubled down the left field line. Jaydin Poateat sent a grounder to shortstop, where Di Benedetto tried to throw out Guentensberger at third, where he was called safe. In the midst of East players arguing the call, Poteat raced over to 2nd. After Joey Berini walked, Jason Slaughter drew a based-loaded walk. After East inserted Brad Rice to pitch, Caige Clayton singled to left field to score Poteat and Berini to give Orange a 5-4 lead, but it didn’t last long.

East’s Ryan McGlinn singled to start the fifth, and Jeske was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt. Di Benedetto walked, leading to Byerley’s two-out double.

Orange starter Will White needed only 15 pitches to get the first five outs, but East scored four runs off five hits in the second inning, all with two outs. Benton Copeland had the game’s first hit on a cue-shot infield single. Rice singled to right to score Copeland. McGlinn followed with a line drive to left to score Harris. Jeske delivered a double to the right center power alley that plated Rice and McGlinn.

East will host Orange to conclude the two-game series on Friday afternoon at 4:30. That game can be heard on HillsboroughSports.com.



Alumni Update: Another Big Weekend for Davidson; Tanner Stays Strong in Net for Greensboro College

Mia Davidson: This week’s Mia Davidson update may be the most impressive one yet. Mississippi State won all five games last week against Boston College, Illinois and UMass-Lowell. In those contests, Davidson hit .571 with three home runs, eight RBIs, three doubles and nine runs. Davidson now leads the SEC and is 17th in the country with eight home runs. As a freshman, Davidson leads the Bulldogs in runs (28), hits (33), doubles (8), RBIs (23), total bases (69), batting average (.440), slugging percentage (.920), and on-base percentage (.488). She has started all 24 games as Mississippi State has started 21-3 after going 36-22 last season.

Brad Debo: Now a sophomore catcher at N.C. State, Debo went 6-for-10 in a doubleheader against Boston College. In the opener, Debo went 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs, scoring twice as the Wolfpack defeated the Eagles 13-7 to take the series. In the nightcap, Debo hit his first homer of the season as the Eagles salvaged an 11-3 win.  Last week, the Wolfpack went 3-1, taking two of three against the Eagles and grabbing a midweek victory at Campbell (a Tuesday game against UNC Wilmington was canceled). Debo went .352 for the week with a home run, four RBI, three runs scored and two doubles. Debo is now hitting .340 (3rd on the team) with 12 RBI and four doubles.

Mackenzie Cates: The Lenoir-Rhyne softball team is now ranked #12 in Division II with a 19-4 record, having won nine in a row. Cates, a senior catcher from Orange, had a tremendous doubleheader against Converse on Saturday, going five-for-6 with two home runs, 9 RBIs, a double and four runs. Last week, the Bears swept doubleheaders against Converse and Davis & Elkins. Cates is hitting .338 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. The Bears start South Atlantic Conference action next weekend against Tusculum.

Stephen Tanner: The former Cedar Ridge lacrosse goalkeeper earned two more wins in net for Division III Greensboro College last week. Tanner made nine saves as the Pride defeated the University of Dallas 14-8 on Saturday in Atlanta. On Friday, Greensboro defeated Hilbert College 7-6 at Pride Field. Tanner made four saves to improve to 6-3 on the season with 79 saves. Tanner is 3rd in the South Atlantic Conference in saves, 4th in Goals Against Average.

Brandon Andrews: The former Cedar Ridge pitcher and centerfielder threw one inning in Nicholls 21-6 win over Sacred Heart. The Colonels had a three-game winning streak on Saturday with a loss to Northwestern State. Nicholls is 4-12, 1-2 in the Southland Conference.

Rachel Peel: Peel, a catcher for Meredith College, appeared in three games last week for the Angels in games against Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Aurora and Salem College. Meredith is 10-9, 3-3 is USA Softball’s South Division.

Jordan Toney: Toney threw an inning of scoreless relief in UNC-Pembroke’s 15-5 win over Coker. Toney is a junior for the Braves after transferring from Pfeiffer in 2017.

Bowen Collins: Collins now plays for Lenoir-Rhyne’s men’s lacrosse team. He played in the Bears’ 10-4 win over Belmont Abbey last week. Lenoir-Rhyne is 7-1 after beating Wingate in its South Atlantic Conference opener on Saturday. This season, Collins has scored two goals and an assist in four games.