Orange Baseball

Alumni Update: Wilson wins National League Central title with Milwaukee

Bryse Wilson: For the second time in his career, Bryse Wilson has reached the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Milwaukee Brewers won the National League Central Division championship on Tuesday night, even though St. Louis defeated the Brewers 4-1. It is Milwaukee’s 3rd division title in six years. Wilson threw one-and-two-thirds innings on Tuesday night, allowing only one walk with two strikeouts. The Brewers will face either the Chicago Cubs or the Arizona Diamondbacks or the Cincinnati Reds in a best-of-three series starting on Tuesday.

Trenton Gill: The Kansas City Chiefs hammered the Chicago Bears 41-10 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Needless to say, Gill, a punter, found himself very busy. Gill averaged 45.8 yards on five punts. The longest was a 58-yarder. He had one downed inside the 20-yard line and another for a touchback. Chicago is 0-2 and will look for its first win in a showcase matchup against the Denver Broncos at Solider Field on Sunday.

Ivy Garner: The Liberty Flames women’s soccer team remains undefeated after beating Sam Houston State 6-0 at Osborne Stadium in Lynchburg, VA in a Conference USA matchup. Ivy Garner, who played for Cedar Ridge in tennis and soccer her freshman year before she transferred to Eno River Academy, assisted on the third goal, scored by Rachel DeRuby in the 46th minute. Garner played 48 minutes and had a shot on goal Liberty. The Flames are 11-0, 2-0 in Conference USA and will host New Mexico State in another Conference USA matchup on Saturday. Garner, a sophomore, has scored four goals and dished out three assists this season. She has started in all eleven games.

Emerson Talley: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team defeated #19 North Georgia 3-1 at Moretz Campus on Wednesday night. Talley assisted on the game-winning goal scored by Neve Dustin in the 59th minute. Talley played all 90 minutes and had a shot on goal. On Saturday, the Bears defeated Mars Hill 4-0 in Hickory. Talley played 45 minute and had a shot. Lenoir-Rhyne is atop the South Atlantic Conference with a 4-0 record. They are 5-0-3 overall with a trip to Wingate on tape for Saturday night.

Will Berger: A former Cedar Ridge pitcher and quarterback, Berger is now running cross country at Wofford University. Wofford started the season with the Eye Opener at the Roger Milliken Research Center Park in Spartanburg, SC. Berger finished 123rd out of 170 runners with a time of 30:05.3. The Terriers finished 13th out of 18 teams. Liberty finished first. On September 15, Berger competed in the Covered Bridge Open at Appalachian State in Boone. Once again, the Terriers finished 13th as a team. Berger finished 120th with a time of 30:29.41. Florida State finished first with 22 points. Berger also was on the outdoor track & field squad for Wofford last spring.

We’ll have a full volleyball update on Thursday.

Orange Panther of the Week: Jackson Berini

As we look back to the 2023 spring sports season, our Orange Panther of the Week is recently graduated Orange shortstop Jackson Berini. For the second straight year, Berini was named All-Central Carolina Conference. A mainstay as Orange’s leadoff batter, Berini ended his career with an 11-game hitting streak. Orange won its third consecutive conference championship this year, ending the season with a trip to the state quarterfinals of the 3A State Playoffs. Berini was Orange’s leading hitter with a .398 batting average. He also had the top on-base percentage at .522. He scored a whopping 40 runs for the Panthers. Jackson started his career sharing the middle infield with his older brother, Joey, in 2020. The season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jackson was just starting his excellence in a Panther uniform. The final three years he played, Orange won a conference championship. Berini was tied for the team lead with 35 hits in 2023. Along the way, he was an instrumental player for an Orange team that went 25-3, its best overall win total since the 2013 team. Berini will move on to play at Gaston College next spring, but his impact across Orange High can be found on the championship banners aligned outside the press box for years to come.

Orange Panther of the Week: Jackson BERINI

As we look back to the 2023 spring sports season, our Orange Panther of the Week is recently graduated Orange shortstop Jackson Berini. For the second straight year, Berini was named All-Central Carolina Conference. A mainstay as Orange’s leadoff batter, Berini ended his career with an 11-game hitting streak.

Orange baseball’s run ends against Southern Lee in 3A State Quarterfinals; Panthers finish 25-3

This time, a five-run inning was too much for Orange to overcome.

Last week, the Panthers pulled off a miracle against Triton, who led 8-3 going into the bottom of the tenth inning. A combination of five walks, a hit batter and three hits, including a walkoff by Wyatt Hedrick, led to six runs and the most improbable comeback in school history as Orange won 9-8.

While Orange never quit battling, Southern Lee’s pitching staff was better equipped to handle a big lead in the 3A State Quarterfinals.

Behind back-to-back homers from Cooper Harrington and Ashton Donathon, the Cavaliers defeated Orange 7-2 on Friday night at Orange High Field. It was Orange’s first home loss of the season, as well as its first loss to a non conference team. The Panthers end the year 25-3, its most wins in a season since 2013.

Southern Lee advanced to the Eastern Regional championship series for the first time in school history. They will face J.H. Rose in a best-of-three series this week.

Orange played without 2022 Central Carolina Pitcher of the Year Cross Clayton, who was limited to six pitching starts this season because of shoulder injuries. While the Panthers’ pitching depth was enough to overcome most opponents this year, the Cavaliers used speed and power to end Orange’s 18-game winning streak.

“They just kept the pressure on,” said Orange coach Jason Knapp after an emotional meeting with his players, most of whom emerged with tears in their eyes. “We had a couple of chances to push a couple of more across, and we just weren’t able to find the timely hit. They ran the bases extremely well. They hit the ball to all fields extremely well. They’re just a well coached, talented ball club.”

The result continued a pattern of one team raining on the other’s parade.While Southern Lee and Orange are separated by just over an hour, they’ve played six times since 2016. Each time, the road team has won. Last April, the Cavaliers edged Orange 6-5 in Hillsborough.

On that day, Southern Lee’s Jalen Jones proved to be a lethal force. He finished 3-for-4 with five putouts. On Friday night, he drove in the opening run off a single to left field to score Donathan.

Immediately, Orange came back in the bottom of the first when senior Jackson Berini, who concluded his career on an 11-game hitting streak, ripped a fastball to right centerfield, the deepest part of Orange’s ballpark where the fence is 402 feet from home plate. After Ryan Hench walked, Connor Nordan sent a flyball in shallow centerfield that Jones caught, but Berini scored on a sacrifice fly for the only tie of the game.

Southern Lee’s Michael Tate-Banks drew a leadoff walk in the second against Orange starter Coltin Hedrick. Caleb Waters lined a single to left field. With one out, Harrington loaded the bases when he reached on a dropped ball in right field. Donathon plated Tate-Banks on a sacrifice fly to left field, which was caught by senior Ryan Hench.

Southern Lee starter Pierce Bouwman, who earned the win to improve to 4-2, used power pitching to squelch any chance for Orange to even the game. In the fourth, the Panthers’ Cameron Guentensberger reached third base while Ryan Honeycutt got to second after each reached on base hits. With one out, Bouwman struck out Neo Best and Wyatt Hedrick to end the inning.

That was the last time Orange was within striking distance. Harrington drilled a leadoff homer over the left field fence in the fifth inning. Donation followed with another dinger that sailed in the vicinity of Harrington’s blast to make it 3-1 Cavaliers. With one out, Jones walked. Kale Scruggs sent a ground ball to second base, which Wyatt Hedrick tried to run down after he held the runner at second. Hedrick’s throw went over the head of Nordan at first base and nearly went into the Orange dugout, allowing Jones to score. After Cooper Moss singled to left field, Tate-Banks was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Josiah Gibbs replaced Coltin Hedrick as pitcher. Waters sent a liner back to the mound that Gibbs caught. Gibbs nearly doubled up Tate-Banks at first base, which would have ended the inning. The throw was errant and Tate-Banks got his hand on the bag just before Nordan could get his glove down. It proved to be a costly sequence for Orange after Spencer Stephens lined a double into right centerfield, scoring Scruggs and Julian McNeil, who was running for Moss. Berini threw out Tate-Banks at the plate, with Horton providing the tag, but the Cavaliers led 7-2.

“We had our five spot against Cape Fear,” Knapp said, referring to Tuesday’s playoff win in the round of 16 where Orange scored five in the first innings, the game’s only runs. “We faced quality arms tonight. Those two guys (Bouwman and Scruggs) were good. We knew that coming in. They were able to get outs when they needed them.”

In the sixth, senior Joey Pounds entered the game for Gibbs and got Orange out of a bases loaded jam with no outs. Pounds, in his final appearance, struck out Scruggs and got Moss to fly out to David Waitt in right.

There were echoes of the Triton miracle in the seventh inning. After Jones made an incredible catch at the centerfield wall with his back to the infield to retire Berini, Waitt reached on an error by Stephens. Hench lined a double that one-hopped the left field fence. After Nordan walked, Guentensberger lined a single to centerfield to score Waitt. Horton grounded into a season-ending double play when Bouwman, who was replaced as pitcher by Scruggs, fielded a grounder, stepped on second and rifled a throw to first.

This entire season, Orange’s nine seniors remembered the feeling of nearly beating perennial power J.H. Rose last year in Greenville. The Panthers led the Rampants 4-0 going into the sixth inning on May 17, 2022 before Rose rallied for four in the sixth and a walkoff homer in the seventh.

They wanted to face Rose again, this time in a best-of-three series. It feels weird for a squad that won 25 games and two conference championships to think about what might have been, but the looks on the seniors faces as they walked back to their dugout on Friday night were of a great team that were a few bad breaks away from being legendary locally.

“Hedrick, Gibbs and Pounds left it all out there,” Knapp said. “My hat is off to those guys. Who would have thought that Colin Hedrick would had the year that he had? Who would have thought that Josiah Gibbs would have had the year that he had? Joey Pounds, you talk about turning it on late. He had a great last month-and-a-half.”

Not only was this team the most successful one that Knapp ever had, it was his first senior class to last four years since he replaced Dean Dease as head coach in 2018. They survived a pandemic together, won three conference championships and made Knapp feel like Orange was his permanent home.

“You get a connection with teams and seniors,” Knapp said. “I think COVID brought us all together because we were left trying to figure out whether we were going to play in 2020. Then we don’t even see each other for months. The guys put together a spring league and I watched from the sidelines. I thought that brought us all together. It’s a great group of young men. Our offseason dedication makes it hurt a little more because all the work these guys put in as a team, even guys who play different sports, bring us closer together. They never gave up.”


Hench’s nine strikeouts, Hedrick’s 2-run single puts Orange baseball past Cape Fear 5-0, into state quarterfinals

In a sport that’s as fickle as baseball, there are some mistakes you don’t stop paying for.

Orange jumped right on Cape Fear left hander Caden Jeffrey in the opening inning on Tuesday night, scoring five runs. It proved to be enough for the Panthers to advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.

Orange senior Ryan Hench struck out nine over six innings, and added an RBI single for the opening run of the game as the Panthers defeated the Colts 5-0 in the third round of the 3A State Playoffs. The Panthers poured on so many runs early on, the fact they didn’t put another runner in scoring position in the final six innings didn’t matter.

The Panthers are 25-2, their most wins in a season since the 2013 team that went 27-4.

The last time the Panthers went to the state quarterfinals, it was 2016 during Bryse Wilson’s senior year. That squad finished 21-7 and lost to Topsail in the playoffs.

Orange will host Southern Lee on Friday night in the fourth round of the state playoffs. The Cavaliers defeated Currituck County 10-7 in Barco on Tuesday night.

Hench, a UNC commitment, improved to 4-0 with a 0.55 ERA in his sixth appearance of the season. Senior Joey Pounds tossed a perfect seventh to complete the Panthers’ first shutout since they beat Person 3-0 on April 5.

“Ryan was able to locate the fastball real well,” said Orange coach Jason Knapp. “He had his slider working well to compliment it. It was really, really good. Those guys (Cape Fear) battled. They had nine hits, but we played well behind Ryan. Our gloves played well.”

Just the fact Orange was playing at all on Tuesday night was miraculous in and of itself. On Friday, Triton led the Panthers 8-3 going into the bottom of the tenth inning before Orange staged the rally of a lifetime. They scored six runs in the bottom of the tenth, off five walks, three hits and a hit batter, to emerge with a 9-8 win in the greatest comeback in team history.

Word of the rally spread like wildfire, even for those who left the game early, and it became the talk of the community during Mother’s Day weekend. By Monday afternoon, Knapp said his team had largely put it behind them.

“This is a seasoned team,” Knapp said. “We’ve been through some battles. When we came in Monday, we talked about it for a second. Then we went out and had a great practice. I wasn’t a bit worried about that.”

Cape Fear (18-11), the champions of the United 8 Conference, mounted the game’s first threat when Mason Hughes lined a two-out single to right field. Hughes advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw by Hench, who responded by striking out Evan Bunce to end the inning.

Orange had six of its ten hits in the opening inning, starting with a leadoff single by senior Jackson Berini. David Waitt sent a hard grounder to right field, easily moving Berini to third. Hench’s single got through to left field to score Berini for the opening run. Pounds came on for Hench as a courtesy runner while Waitt moved over to third on a passed ball. Cameron Guentensberger walked to load the bases. With two out, Ryan Honeycutt hit a bouncing ball though the 5-6 hole to score Waitt. Neo Best reached on an infield hit where Colts third baseman Hunter Darden made a diving stop but couldn’t come up with a play. Pounds crossed the plate to make it 3-0. Wyatt Hedrick, who had the game-winning hit in the 10th inning against Triton, continued his hot streak with a soft liner that dropped in front of left fielder Ethan Wienand. Ty Walker, running in place of Honeycutt, just beat the throw from left field to score along with Guentensberger.

That was all Orange needed, but their defense put in work. Jackson Rainey and Spencer Perez each had singles to start the second, but Hench struck out Darden. Wienand flew out to Waitt in right field.

Bunce led off the fourth with a single to left field, but was thrown out by Honeycutt trying to steal second.

The Colts biggest threat came in the fifth when Wienand led off with a double down the left field line. Ethan Colletti went opposite field for a single, where Wienand was held at third. Mason Hughes sent a grounder to Best at third base. Best held Wienand at third while he threw out Colletti at second. Bunce advanced on a dropped third strike, but Hughes was thrown out at second to end the inning

Orange’s Elijah Santos made a superb catch in left field in the sixth to retire Perez. It came after Jackson lined a single to right field. Santos made another big catch on Darden to end the threat.

Berini and Waitt each finished 2-for-3.

Now Orange will face Southern Lee, who the Panthers have occasionally played in non-conference games over the years.

“They have a new coach, but he has them playing great,” Knapp said. “He has them playing as hot as a firecracker right now. Anytime you can travel all the way down to Currituck County and find yourself a way to win, you know you’ve got a great program.”

Southern Lee has become a sentimental favorite in the state tournament after head coach Tommy Harrington suffered a near-fatal ATV accident in December. Harrington, who replaced David Lee as head coach last year, finished 2nd in the Sandhills Conference behind Pinecrest, a 4A school.



A Hillsborough miracle–Hedrick’s RBI single ends 6-run 10th as Orange pulls off classic comeback over Triton 9-8 in 10 innings

No rally caps. No hokey chants from the dugout. No pep talks.

Orange didn’t need any of that for the greatest comeback in the baseball’s team history on Friday night. They just needed a reminder of who they were and what they were playing for.

Even if the hole they were in couldn’t have been much darker or deeper.

Triton, who had only four losses all year, had just scored five runs in the tenth inning in the second round of the 3A State Playoffs. It appeared that Kenneth McCoy had delivered the death blow with a three-run triple that bounced into the right field corner. It put the Hawks up 8-4. Then centerfielder Wyatt Avery lined a single up the middle to score McCoy for extra measure.

It was the most runs Orange had given up in an inning all year.

It seemed like a certain ending to a successful season, but not in the Orange dugout. That’s where Ryan Hench and assistant coach Matt Roberts told the team things weren’t over—even if it took a miracle.

Roberts reminded the players the pressure wasn’t on them, it was on Triton.

Hench knew from experience. As a sophomore in 2021, he was the pitcher when Cedar Ridge led Orange 6-3 with the Panthers down to its last strike at Red Wolves Field. Hench drove in the game-tying double and Orange went on to score eleven runs in the seventh to win 13-6.

“You draw off of experiences like that,” said Orange coach Jason Knapp. “Ryan took over ownership after that in the dugout talking to players. That’s something I haven’t seen around here since I’ve been here. Seniors taking ownership. All of them.”

Two years later, the Panthers would chip away at seemingly insurmountable odds 90 feet at a time.

In the most dramatic way possible, junior Wyatt Hedrick became the unlikely hero. He lined a single up the middle with the bases loaded to bring in Cameron Guentensberger in front of a raucous crowd at Panther Field. The Panthers won 9-8 in ten innings to advance to the Round of 16 in the 3A State Playoffs. Orange scored six runs in the bottom of the tenth, its longest game since 2017.

“I didn’t think it was over,” Knapp said. “I’m not going to sit here and say I felt great. But we have watched ourselves be able to do stuff like that, especially on this field. We can erupt at any time with a big, crooked number. We knew the guy they were throwing had some good velocity, but we knew he could walk some games.”

Orange will face Cape Fear, the champions of the United Eight Conference, on Tuesday night in Hillsborough.

Wherever the Panthers go from here, Friday night will be the source of discussion for years to come at reunions and get togethers amongst the players and coaches, not only because it was a giant comeback in the playoffs, but also the sheer craziness of it all.

There was Garrett Sawyer, who hadn’t had a plate appearance all season, somehow batting cleanup in the 10th inning of a state playoff game. Or Hedrick, who had been a part-time starter behind Cross Clayton at second base, with his first career three-hit game. Or Henry Huffman, making his varsity debut after playing on the JV team the whole season, nearly scoring the game-wining run in the ninth.

The Panthers’ season was on life support several times. Triton broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh when leadoff man Jalen Evans scored off a single to right field by Braxton Davis.

Connor Nordan led off the seventh with a liner to left field. Elijah Santos came on to run for Nordan. Santos reached second and third base off consecutive wild pitches. Ryan Honeycutt sent a soft pop fly to shallow centerfield that dropped between Evans and Avery. Santos scored the game-tying run and Honeycutt reached second on the throw. After Ryan Horton was intentionally walked with one out, Neo Best flew out to Avery. Hedrick nearly won the game in the seventh, but Avery made a diving catch in center to extend the game into extra innings.

Nordan led off the ninth with a single to centerfield that somehow got past Avery to the centerfield fence. After Nordan got an extra base, Orange coach Jason Knapp gambled. He pinch-ran Huffman for Nordan to get a faster runner at second. That meant Nordan, who leads the team with 38 RBIs would leave the game permanently.

“That’s was a tough call,” Knapp said. “He gave me a hug after the game. I told him I felt like we needed to get a little more speed out there and try to end it. He was like ‘Coach, I love you and you did what you had to do.'”

Guentensberger drilled a single up the middle that appeared to be enough to win. Yet Avery threw a frozen rope to the plate, where catcher Anthony Jones tagged out Huffman and deny the game-winning run. Relief pitcher Tucker Brown struck out Honeycutt and Horton to send it to the tenth.

Orange appeared to run out of arms in the tenth. Jones got a leadoff walk. Xander Johnson laid down a bunt where Sawyer slipped while fielding it. Ross Stevens loaded the bases off another walk. Diminutive second baseman William Meredith got a bases-loaded walk to score Hayden Campbell, running for Jones, to put the Hawks ahead 4-3 and things were just getting going. McKoy pulled a fastball from Guentensberger, who replaced Sawyer, for a bases-clearing triple. Johnson, Stevens and Meredith all came in to make it 7-3. With still no outs, Avery singled to right field to bring in McCoy.

In retrospect, what seemed like a harmless sequence with Triton ahead 8-3 turned out to be monumental. After Evans doubled, Davis grounded out to Hedrick for the second out. Evans, running at second, took off for third thinking that Avery would try to score from third. Avery wound up in a rundown where Horton tagged him out at the plate for your basic 4-3-6-2 double play.

By that point, Triton probably didn’t care. It seemed they had a surplus of runs and were ready to start a joyous bus ride by to Erwin for a game that had already surpassed three hours.

Braxton Davis, who threw six innings on Tuesday night in the Hawks 12-2 win over Scotland County in the first round, started the tenth for Triton. He induced Neo Best to ground out to Stevens at first base.

Then six straight Panthers reached base.

Hedrick and Jackson Berini walked. David Waitt, who leads the team with 33 hits, drove a fastball into the outfield to load the bases. Hench got drilled on the left knee with a fastball for a run battered in to score Hedrick.

That left Sawyer, in his first plate appearance of the season, in a bizzaro world at-bat with the season on the line. Sawyer worked the count until he got ball four outside to score Berini. Guentensberger ripped a fastball to left field to score Waitt and Hench and reduce the Hawks lead to 8-7.

Triton coach David Reece called in Avery from centerfield to pitch. The Hawks got within one out of the win when Honeycutt flew out to Jones, who moved to right field.

Best, who led off the frame with a groundout, came up to bat 0-for-5. He stayed patient as Avery, who didn’t warm up in the bullpen before going into the game, walked up with ball four well outside of the plate. Sawyer scored amid the loudest crowd pop you’re likely to hear following a walk.

Hedrick returned to the plate, the 11th Panther to hit in the inning. On a 2-2 pitch, Hedrick smoked a liner to centerfield to complete the most miraculous comeback in school history. Guentensberger, who earned the win on the mound, touched the plate for the game-winning run as Triton players collapsed in shock.

Orange, whose last loss was on March 21 is now 24-3. They have now won 17 in a row, but no one in attendance on Friday night will ever forget the Panthers’ latest victory.




Guentensberger, Hench homer in Orange’s 16-2 rout of Croatan to open 3A State Playoffs

Jason Knapp’s latest state playoff win as Orange baseball coach was unlike any he’s had before.

It wasn’t a first round nail bitter that went nine innings against Cedar Ridge.. It wasn’t decided in the late innings like last year’s thriller against Terry Sanford.

Instead, the Panthers went about business against Croatan thoroughly, efficiently and best of all, quickly.

Orange scored eight runs in the second inning, capped by a three-run blast by junior centerfielder Cameron Guentensberger, en route to an 16-2 win in five innings over Croatan in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs on Tuesday night in Hillsborough. Orange, the #2 seed in the East Region, advance to host Triton on Friday night.

Triton defeated Scotland County 12-2 in six innings on Tuesday night.

Orange is 23-2, their most wins in a season since 2013, when they reached the 3A Eastern Regional final series with freshman Bryse Wilson.

Ryan Hench threw five innings to earn his third win of the season. Hench, who missed 12 games because of an injury suffered against Grimsley on March 9, struck out eight in only five innings. He allowed just two hits. Both runs he surrendered were unearned.

“Ryan looked great,” Knapp said. “He’s coming right back into form. He commanded the strike zone well. He had them out front with his slider. It looked the same old Ryan we’ve had forever.”

Croatan ends the season 12-13.

Hench finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a solo homer that led off the bottom of the fourth, which put Orange ahead 9-2.

Orange took control of the game going station-to-station in the second inning until, before you knew it, they had eight runs. It started when Ryan Honeycutt drilled a double down the left field line. With Ty Walker serving as a courtesy runner, Ryan Horton reached on a booted grounder at third base. Neo Best’s soft liner to right field loaded the bases. Cross Clayton drove in the opening run with a base hit that floated over second base into the outfield. Senior Jackson Berini, who went 2-for-3, lined a single up the middle to bring in Horton.

Senior David Waitt sent his team-leading 31st hit of the season through the 3-4 hole for another RBI single. With Orange leading 3-0, Hench ended a six-pitch at-bat with a liner to left field to score Clayton and Berini, leading to Croatan starter Broderyk Miller getting pulled.

Guentensberger poked a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence, which Knapp labeled”a classic Orange High home run,” for a three-run blast to score Waitt and Joey Pounds. It was the first home run of Guentensberger’s career.

The Cougars fought back with Owen Woodruff scoring off a sacrifice fly in the third inning hit by Nathan Michalowicz. Ben Boyette, who reached on an error in the outfield, reduced Orange’s lead to 8-2 off a squeeze play bunt by Nathan Griffin.

After Hench’s leadoff homer in the fourth, Connor Nordan had a single. Guentensberger was hit by a pitch, and Horton walked to load the bases. Best drove in Nordan and Guentensberger with a sharp liner to left field. Clayton put the game in run-rule territory with a seeing eye grounder that reached right field that brought in Horton. After Berini walked, Waitt knocked in Best with an RBI fielder’s choice where Berini was thrown out at second. Hench drilled a doubled on a ball that just missed getting out of the ballpark, plating Waitt and Clayton. With Pounds running for Hench, Nordan drove in his 37th run of the season with a single to centerfield.

Hench has home runs in three of Orange’s last four games.

It was Orange’s first run-rule victory since they defeated Cedar Ridge 12-2 on March 28.

“The guys were loose and focused,” Knapp said. “I have a lot of these guys in my weight training class and I saw it early today. They were feeling good and it came out right on the field. It was a lot different than last year.”