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Chargers sack Trojans, 5-2


Austin Jones (#6) hits the ball during a game at Ayden Grifotn High School on Wednesday.


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday afternoon provided another perfect day for baseball as part of the annual Ray Avery Easter Tournament at Ayden-Grifton High School, and the Chargers defeated Pine Forest, 5-2.

Chargers head coach Corey Skinner was pleased to be able to once again host the longstanding tradition.

“It’s a really cool thing for our players,” Skinner said of the Avery tourney. “A lot of teams across the state are on the road and traveling on the road during Easter, and we get to showcase our school, showcase our community, showcase Pitt County baseball, and I think that’s a pretty cool thing. We get junior varsity guys who get to come up to varsity for the first time this time of year. It’s one thing I remember as a player. It’s a neat thing, a tradition that our guys look forward to no matter when it falls in the season.”

In a highly competitive 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference, the Chargers (15-7, 7-3) are still fighting for a regular season crown, which has put a strain on the team. Skinner sees the Ray Avery Tournament as a way for his squad to relax and enjoy the game.

“We talked about that (the pressure) after the North Lenoir game,” Skinner said. “We told them, ‘We’ve played some high-pressure games. We need to just step back and enjoy the game of baseball.’ We’re still going to play to win and be intense, but it’s nice to have that relaxing, early-season feel. We have to be ready to flip that switch next week. It’s nice to be able to enjoy the game and be with our teammates.”

The Chargers led from start to finish, as Jordan Atkinson (2-for-3, 2B, 2 Rs, BB, 2 SBs, RBI) nailed a double to get in scoring position in the second inning. He was then brought home by Josh Harris (1-for-3, R, RBI, SB).

Atkinson and Harris both scored in the fifth to give the Chargers a 3-0 lead. A home run by Brandon Benfield (1-for-2, 2 Rs, SB, 2 BBs) in the sixth and another run scored in the seventh ensured A-G the win.

Connor Allen picked up the win, giving up just one run on six hits while striking out seven batters in a complete-game effort.

Keyshon Taylor (2-for-4, R, SB) provided the lone run for the Trojans.

Despite a more relaxed atmosphere, Skinner told his team to continue to play hard.

“We told them to keep the same goals they have all season,” Skinner said. “On the mound, throw a bunch of strikes, and defensively, make the plays, limit the mistakes and shorten the inning whenever we can.”

A-G will wrap up the Avery tournament today when the Chargers face South View. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

Greene Central 8, Roanoke Rapids 2

Greene Central picked up a win as part of the Pitt County Classic Monday. 

Leading the Rams (10-8, 5-6) were Jalin Connor (1-for-4, R, RBI) and AJ Dupree (1-for-2, 2 Rs, BB).

GC will take on Pamlico County today at noon at North Pitt. 

North Johnston 4, TEACH 3

TEACH fell to North Johnston Monday at the Golden Leaf invitational.

Ryan Ange rapped three hits in the loss, while Preston Kennedy, Colby Case and Ben Slager plated runs for TEACH.

Greene Central 5, North Pitt 3 (8 innings)

It took an extra inning for Greene Central to take down North Pitt Saturday to open the Pitt County Classic.

Zach Taylor (2-for-3, 3 RBIs, 2 BB), Debo Pigford (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) led the way for the Rams. Jalin Connor also scored two runs. 

Ruban Beltran (2-for-4, RBI) and Hunter Forrest (1-for-4, R) had good nights for the Panthers. 


South Central 22, Greene Central 7 (5 innings)

South Central cruised to a blowout win over Greene Central Monday afternoon.

Madison Deanes (1-for-1, 4 Rs), Amya Evans (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs) and Anna Mewborn (1-for-2, 3 Rs, 2 RBIs) led the way for the Falcons. 

Kaitlin Uzzell (1-for-3, 2B, 2 Rs) helped put up a fight for the Rams. 

GC (10-6, 7-4) will return to action April 29, when the Rams host Farmville Central. SC (18-2, 10-2) will host Eastern Wayne on April 30 for the first round of the 3-A.4-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament.

South Central 18, Tarboro 3 (5 innings)

South Central defeated Tarboro in its first game Monday afternoon.

The Falcons received great outings from Mewborn (3-for-3, 2B, 3 Rs, 3 RBIs), Evans (3-for-3, 2B, 3B, 5 RBIs), Marissa Roach (1-for-2, 2 RBIs) and Jessica Purcell (2-for-3, 2B, 2 Rs, RBI).

Ayden-Grifton 8, Currituck 4

The Chargers held off a late rally by Currituck to pick up a win Saturday at the Lady Vikings Easter Tournament. 

Kim Gurkins had a strong game all around, earning three hits and three RBIs while earning the win from the circle by pitching 6.2 innings. 

A-G (12-7, 6-4) will travel to face West Craven on April 30. 

D.H. Conley 12, Bear Grass Charter 2

D.H. Conley had little trouble dispatching 1-A opponent Bear Grass Charter Saturday evening. 

Lexi Vincent picked up the win, allowing three hits, one walk and two earned runs while striking out six batters. 

Anna Sawyer (2-for-4, 2B, 3 Rs), Maggie Craig (2-for-3, 3-R HR, 4 RBIs), Lexi Phillips (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBIs) and Madison Bowers (1-for-3, 3 Rs) pushed the DHC offense forward. 


D.H. Conley 19, Tarboro 3 

A seven-run fourth inning pushed the D.H. Conley freshman baseball team past Tarboro Saturday. 

Thomas Barrett, Damien Bradshaw and Trent Spencer each had multiple hits for D.H. Conley. Spencer, Bradshaw and Barrett all had two hits to lead the Vikings.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

May 23, 2019

After falling in Game One of the 3-A East Regional baseball finals Tuesday, No. 2 D.H. Conley rebounded on Thursday, defeating No. 1 New Hanover 10-0 in six innings to force a winner-take-all Game Three Saturday.

UNC Greensboro commit Robbie O’Neal threw a gem, tossing his first complete game…


May 23, 2019

As the current school year nears its conclusion, athletes from around the county are finalizing their choices to continue their academic and athletic careers at the college level.

Following is a summary of recent local signings:

Ayden-Grifton quartet signs

Four Ayden-Grifton standouts signed this…


May 23, 2019

Ayden-Grifton senior Mason Ross wrapped up a successful career for the Chargers this season. As a state qualifier in wrestling and the A-G everyday shortstop in baseball, Ross committed to continue his baseball career at Methodist University last Thursday. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with…

052319-Mason Ross

May 23, 2019

D.H. Conley’s baseball and softball teams both fell into a 1-0 hole Tuesday night in the beginning of their respective 3-A East Regional Finals three-game series.

Both teams must fend off elimination in Game Two tonight in hopes of forcing a decisive third game. The winner of the series moves…


May 21, 2019

Just four days after advancing to the 3-A East Regional finals thanks to a 3-2 walk-off win over Southern Alamance, the top seeded D.H. Conley softball team found itself on the opposite end of the same score after eight innings Tuesday against No. 2 Eastern Alamance.

The Conley loss gave the Eagles…


May 21, 2019

The 2018-19 season couldn’t have gone any better for South Central senior Shykeim Phillips.

He helped lead a dominant Falcons squad to the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A conference regular season and tournament championship. In addition to that, they completed one of the great state tournament runs…


May 21, 2019

The final four has arrived for spring high school baseball and softball, with both sports on the brink of determining representatives for the state championships, meaning this week’s regional series will provide the biggest moments this season.

Only one area school, D.H. Conley, remains in…


May 17, 2019

The South Central softball team couldn’t catch a break Friday night in Winterville, and Hoggard took advantage, ending the Falcons season with a 5-0 loss.

The Vikings advanced to the 4-A East Regional championship with a 5-0 road win over the Falcons on Friday night. They’ll begin the…


May 17, 2019

Another busy night at Hollywood Crossroads Friday resulted in the Vikings baseball and softball teams advancing to the 3-A East Regional Finals, which begin Tuesday. 

The second-seeded baseball team topped three-seed Fike, 9-5.

Led by UNC-Greensboro commit Robbie O’Neal on the mound, DHC…


May 17, 2019

Christ Covenant School capped off a highly successful boys’ golf season by winning the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A state championship earlier this week at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

After finishing second in its conference, Christ Covenant was led by all-…

051819-Christ Covenant School Golf
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