Orange High School

Orange lacrosse goes for 1st regional championship tonight against Northwood in Hillsborough

All that stands between Orange High and its first-ever trip to the 3A/2A/1A State Lacrosse Championship is a showdown with a conference rival.

Orange and Northwood are no strangers to one another. When they meet tonight (Tuesday) for the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship at Auman Stadium, it will be their seventh meeting since March 8, 2021. On that night, the Chargers disposed of the Panthers easily, 17-6, at Chargers Stadium in Pittsboro.

It was hardly a surprise. It was the Chargers fifth win in six meetings against the Panthers. But like a lot of stuff since Chandler Zirkle took over the Orange lacrosse program, things changed at warp speed.

Just nine days later, the Panthers stunned the Chargers 10-9 to advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history. Freshman Connor Kruse scored the game-winning goal late in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Jake Wimsatt tied the game off a man-up goal following an illegal stick penalty. Two years later, that call still sticks in the craw of some Northwood fans. It took a goal off the scoreboard that would have given the Chargers the lead.

The following year, the Panthers and the Chargers became rivals in the Mid-Carolina Conference. Yet the Panthers have beaten the Chargers four straight times, including twice this season, and have won 30 consecutive conference game overall.

Orange eased into the regional championship game after belting Carrboro 15-7 on Friday night at Auman Stadium. Kruse, who leads the team with 67 goals, paced Orange with four goals and two assists. Senior Joe Cady had a hat trick, putting him at 40 goals on the season.

“I thought we have a lot of skill and we played OK at times,” Zirkle said. “I thought we were focused on trying to play better and take the next step for Northwood. I think some of the guys thought we overlooked last year’s semifinal (also against Carrboro) so we’re trying to be critical of ourselves and focusing on what needs to be fixed.”

Wimsatt, who recently returned after an MCL injury kept him out of the lineup for most of the season, added a goal in the third quarter. For Orange’s ascendance to the top of the conference, Wimsatt was the ace face-off man. Wimsatt’s injury kept him on the sidelines while freshman Matthew MacNair handled duties at the dot. Yet Wimsatt’s presence makes Orange deeper than the last time they played Northwood, a 16-10 Orange win in Pittsboro on April 19.

“It’s such a boost to have Jake,” Zirkle said. “He just makes us better. He’s helped us a lot.”

The Chargers will be deeper, too. Northwood (17-3) is expected to have Grayson Cox, the son of head coach Randy Cox, back in the lineup after he missed last month’s game due to a broken wrist. Junior defenseman Ryan Brinker is also slated to return after suffering a shoulder injury earlier this year.

Northwood edged Croatan 5-4 last week to reach the state quarterfinals, then hammered Havelock 15-4 on Friday in Pittsboro.

“I know they’ll have some type of wrinkle up their sleeve,” Zirkle said. “I’m not sure what to expect. We’ll have to figure out what it could be. It’s going to be interesting. They have a 3-3 zone that use. I wouldn’t be surprised if they use a 10-man ride. I expect they’ll be at their best version of themselves.”

For the Chargers, the game could be a last stand for a senior class that has reached the regional championship game for the first time in school history. Seniors Will Smith (63 goals and 100 points), Taylor LaBerge (60 goals and 98 points) and Jason Walden (76 points) will fight to reach the state championship game–and end a five-game losing streak to Orange.

Orange (18-3) is looking to become just the second team from Hillsborough to win a regional championship in lacrosse. Last year, thousands of fans packed Auman Stadium to see Orange face off against First Flight for the regional title. But the moment may have overwhelmed a Panther team with only five seniors. First Flight defeated Orange 13-7.

Now, Orange starters like Kruse, Cady, Wimsatt, Tigh Metheny and defensive standouts like Braden Hunt, Sascha Van Praag and Josiah Tisdale are a year wiser with more playoff experience that any Orange team in history.

“I’m sure we’re more prepared in some capacity,” Zirkle said. “It’s tough to quantify that. It’s gives us a reference point about what to think about as opposed to going into it blind. That’s a positive. And the end of the day, you’ve got to make the plays in front of you on the field. You’ve got to figure out the right way to play, make sure you win.”

Six years ago today, Cedar Ridge won the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship when they defeated Chapel Hill 11-8 at Red Wolves Stadium.



Schmid wins two more regional titles for Orange track; McDaniels, Seymour qualify for state championships

It has been 25 years since the Orange men’s outdoor track and field team had a runner win a state championship.

This Friday, Gabriel Schmid will look to end that drought. If this academic year is any indication, the smart money may be on him.

On Friday, Schmid continued an incredibly impressive year by winning two regional titles at the 3A Mideast Track and Field Championships at Franklinton High School.

Schmid cruised to victory in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:11.10. He finished a full 37 seconds ahead of Corbin Weeks of Union Pines. Logan Trotten-Lancaster of Union Pines came in third at 9:56.77. Last year, Schmid finished second in the regionals behind his own teammate, Spencer Hampton of Orange.

Schmid also won the regional championship in the 1,600 meters at 4:23.96. Northwood’s Noah Nileson came in second at 4:28.71.

In addition, Orange sophomore Ja’Ki McDaniels earned a spot to the 3A State Championships this Friday at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. McDaniels came in third in the long jump at 21-feet, 6.5 inches. Kaleb Lucas of the Durham School of the Arts finished first at 22-feet, nine inches. Trenton Wiley of Eastern Alamance finished second at 21-feet, 11.5-inches.

McDaniels almost qualified for the state championships in the triple jump. His best leap of 40-feet-4,25 inches was good enough for fifth place. A.J. Allen of Southern Nash got fourth place, and the final state championship spot, at 40-feet-7.5 inches.

Isaiah Seymour, a senior who started the past two seasons for the Orange men’s basketball team, qualified for the state championships in the triple jump. Seymour finished third in the triple jump at 40-feet, ten-inches. He also came in eleventh in the long jump. Donovan Estes of Franklinton finished first at 44-feet-,6.25-inches.

Seymour’s brother, Issac, qualified for the state indoor track and field championships in February in the high jump. Issac Seymour finished 12th in the high jump in the outdoor regionals on Friday.

Schmid has had one of the greatest years for any runner in Orange High history. He won the 3A State Cross Country championship last November, finishing first at 15:44.28, a full 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Stephen Fernetti of North Lincoln. He became the first state cross country champion for Orange since Bradsher Wilkins in 1998.

Wilkins was also the last Orange runner to win a state championship in outdoor track and field. In 1998, Bradsher was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the State Championships when he won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

Jamar Davis was the last Orange competitor to win an outdoor state championship. Davis was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the 2018 NCHSAA 3A State Championships when he captured the state championships in the long jump and the triple jump. Davis also competed in the Penn Relays in his senior season. He is currently in his final season at N.C. State, where he recently won the triple jump in the Penn Relays.

Schmid started the year winning the Early Bird Challenge in cross country on August 20. After winning the 3A State Cross Country Championships, he qualified for the Indoor State Championships by finishing 14th at the New Balance Dash for Doobie 3,200 in Pfafftown. In December, Schmid ran in the Nike Cross Country Nationals in Portland, OR.

Orange had other competitors nearly reach the state championships. Aiden Viola came in eighth in the 800 meters at 2:04.84.

Myles Jermyn almost earned a ticket to Greensboro in the 1,600 meters. He finished 5th at 4:30.09. Corbin Weeks of Union Pines finished fourth to take the final spot for the state championships at 4:29.57.

Freshman Lucas Van Mater of Orange came in sixth in the 3,200 meters at 10:00.96. Peter Musser crossed the finish line in 10th at 10:28.87.

Edgar Ibarra, who was the only Cedar Ridge Red Wolf to qualify for regionals, finished 14th in the 3,200 meters at 11:09.33.

In addition to Sampey’s near-miss in the pole vault, Orange freshman Liam Van Schaick finished fifth at 9-feet.


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.




Orange Panther of the Week: Carson Bradsher

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is senior softball shortstop Carson Bradsher. This season, Bradsher was the leading hitter for the Orange softball team with a .596 batting average. On May 2, Bradsher went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as the Lady Panthers defeated Eastern Alamance, the defending 3A State Champions, 9-4 on May 2. The first time Carson was interviewed for, it was in November 2019 when she attended a college signing ceremony for Jaden Hurdle inside the Orange Media Center. She said, aside from her family, the thing she was most thankful for was softball. Three years later, Bradsher had her own signing ceremony inside the media center for USC-Upstate in the Big South Conference. In her Orange high career, Bradsher won a Big 8 Conference championship in 2021. She was a member of an Orange team that finished undefeated in the regular season. For her career, Bradsher had a .612 batting average in 38 career games. She had 85 hits and 45 career stolen bases. After missing most of her junior season with an injury, Bradsher had base hits in 18 of Orange’s 19 games this season. Her Orange career ended on Tuesday night in a loss to West Carteret in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs. The daughter of Wayne and Shannon Bradsher, Carson served as a mentor to younger players like Katie Carden this season. Her base running and slap hitting ability at Orange will be missed as she stakes her considerable talents to Spartanburg, SC.

Orange lax’s Tigh Metheney & Katie Wolter discuss playoff win vs. First Flight, reaching state quarterfinals

For the third year in a row, the Orange lacrosse team has advanced to the state quarterfinals of the 3A/2A/1A State Playoffs. On Tuesday night, Orange defeated First Flight 9-4 at Auman Stadium. The Panthers avenged a loss to the Nighthawks in last year’s state semifinal match. Senior Tigh Metheny scored the opening three goals of the game, all assisted by Connor Kruse. In a critical sequence late in the first half, Orange led 3-2. First Flgiht’s Cody Keller raced down the field on a breakaway. Orange goalkeeper Katie Wolter made a huge save to keep the Panthers in the lead. Wolter has a scholarship to play at American University in Washington, D.C. Wolter and the rest of the Panther defense helped keep the Nighthawks off the board for the entire third quarter. In a span of 18:56, the Nighthawks were held scoreless. Orange scored all four goals in the third quarter to take a 9-2 lead into the final stanza. The Panthers will face Carrboro at Auman Stadium in the state quarterfinals on Friday night. If Orange wins, they will host the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship game next Tuesday in Auman Stadium. Metheny is the second-leading scorer on the team with 53 goals and 68 points. Wolter has made 119 saves this season with a 51% save percentage.

Reprisal in Auman–Metheny’s hat trick, Wolter’s breakaway save leads Orange lacrosse past First Flight 9-4, into State Quarterfinals

During summer weightlifting sessions for the Orange lacrosse team, the score “13-7” was written on the white board beside the entrance.

Every time the players left a workout, they would see that score written in back ink that served as a less-than-subtle  reminder to the end of an otherwise successful 2022 season, when Orange hosted the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship game for the first time.

It was a moment where Orange truly arrived as a lacrosse program. Thousands of fans gathered at Auman Stadium to see if the Panthers could reach the state championship game. Yet the moment may have overwhelmed the Panthers, who once played in empty stadiums when lacrosse was an afterthought compared to the more traditional baseball and softball programs.

In the regional title game, First Flight’s defense flustered Orange into uncharacteristic mistakes. The Nighthawks held Orange to one goal over 23:26 and advanced to play for the state championship for the first time ever.

By a score of 13-7.

The First Flight team that returned to Auman Stadium on Tuesday night was the same as last year’s in name only. The Nighthawks lost nine seniors, including their top five scorers and goalkeeper Porter Smith. Jacob Gray, who scored five goals against Orange last May, was supposed to return for his senior season yet opted for the Coast Guard Academy instead.

But Orange was still facing First Flight. More importantly, they were facing the Nighthawks in the 3rd round of the 3A/2A/1A State Playoffs.

Which made the results no less gratifying. The irony was that the key to Orange’s victory was defense.

Senior Tigh Metheny scored Orange’s first three goals, all assisted by junior Connor Kruse, while the Panthers (17-3) held the Nighthawks scoreless for 18:56 through the second and third quarters in an 9-4 victory at Auman Stadium. Orange, the #1 seed in the East Region of the 3A/2A/1A State Playoffs, will face Carrboro on Friday night in the state quarterfinals at Auman Stadium.

Carrboro rolled past Cape Fear 17-3 at Jaguars Stadium.

First Flight, the co-champions of the Northeastern Conference with Croatan, ends the season 8-6.

While the Panthers found its rhythm in the second quarter, they were disjointed and sloppy early. Metheny’s sidearm shot off a feed from Kruse with 6:45 remaining was Orange’s only goal of the opening quarter.

The game turned on a sequence late in the second quarter. With Orange leading 3-2 and 4:45 remaining in the first half, First Flight Captain Cam Van Lunen intercepted a clearance pass and found sophomore Cody Keller up the field for a breakaway. It appeared the game would soon be tied, but Keller opted to go low against Orange goalkeeper Katie Wolter, who kicked it away. Defenseman Braden Hunt won the subsequent ground ball and sent it into the attacking end on a feed to Kruse, who found Metheny for a pinpoint shot that hit the back of the net.

After Orange freshman Matthew Macneir won the face-off, Wimsatt passed to Kruse for another goal seven seconds later to push the Panthers lead to 5-2 at halftime.

Kruse factored into all five Orange goals in the first half, assisting on four of them.

“Katie is a Division I goalkeeper for a reason,” said Orange coach Chandler Zirkle. “That was a huge one. The fact that we were able to make defensive stands throughout the game.”

Wolter has committed to American University, where she earned a scholarship.

First Flight was whistled for four penalties in the opening four minutes of the second quarter, including an illegal stick penalty to open the frame. That led to Metheny scoring with 9:01 remaining following an unnecessary roughness penalty with 9;31 remaining for the first of Orange’s two man-up goals. Metheny would add another two minutes later off a unsportsmanlike conduct call with 10:19 left.

Orange outscored the Nighthawks 5-0 in the third quarter. Jake Wimsatt, a senior who just recently returned to action after injuring his MCL early in the season, scored his second goal with 8:50 remaining off a pass from Kruse. Josh Cowan added two more goals in a span of 31 seconds, the first assisted by Josh Crabtree. Senior Joe Cady provided the highlight reel play of the night with a behind-the-back pass to sophomore Gray Crabtree, who finished it to put Orange ahead 9-2.

Freshman Danny Gardill had two goals for the Nighthawks, including one in the fourth quarter. Junior Bert Waddington also notched a goal in the final quarter, a frame where Orange was more content to run the clock out that scoring.

The Panthers have reached the state quarterfinals for three straight years and are one win away from hosting the Eastern Regional Championship game for the second straight season.

“First Flight plays so hard,” Zirkle said. “The nice thing we have is depth. It helps when you can put a freshman out (Brett Clark) at the end of the first half to replace tired players. Realistically, he’s not supposed to be playing heavy minutes right now, but he’s able to go out on the field and give us some good ones. That’s a big difference maker.”


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.”