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Vikings down Whiteville, 9-4

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D.H. Conley players celebrate Noah Link (#9) after he comes in to home base during a game against Whiteville on Tuesday.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

D.H. Conley took care of perennial powerhouse Whiteville Tuesday afternoon, 9-4, at Guy Smith Stadium on the final day of the Pitt County Classic baseball tournament.

“I have to give thanks to Ryan (Meadows), Corey (Skinner), (Ronald Vincent) and Pat (McRae),” DHC head coach Jason Mills said of the head coaches at North Pitt, Ayden-Grifton, J.H. Rose and South Central, respectively, who hosted games. “They do a great job with their facilities. Everyone busted their hump big time Saturday morning just to get everything ready after the storm, so hats off to those guys and my staff as well. It’s exciting. We have a lot of good teams here. Whiteville is an amazing team, and I was just excited to get a chance to compete against them.”

Conley (21-2, 11-1) used a six-run second inning to create and maintain a lead for the remainder of the game. 

Robbie O’Neal (2-for-2, GS, 4 RBIs, 2 Rs, BB) was the catalyst of the offense, launching a grand slam on his first pitch of the second inning, scoring Jake Lysaght, Cam Jackson and Chandler Baldree (2-for-3, 2B, R) to push the Vikings’ lead to 9-2. 

O’Neal also picked up the win on the mound, giving up just one hit, one run and three walks while striking out four batters.

“It’s good to see Robbie come back on the mound and then have the big swing in the second,” Mills said. “He had a good tournament. He had not been swinging the bat as well as he would have liked, but this week he did. Cam, Shea (Ward) and a couple other guys today were really good. I think we played 24 guys yesterday, so it was good to see them out on the field.”

Mills joked his team may have been looking ahead to their upcoming break.

“I think we got a little tired today,” he said. “I think everyone is looking forward to spring break.”

The Vikings have already clinched the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference title and will have a first-round bye in the conference tournament, which kicks off April 30. 

“Last year, we kind of stubbed our toe against South Central,” Mills said. “We had that play-in game and then had to play against Rose. You never want to go into the playoffs on a bad note, so this is going to be an important week for us next week. We’ll have either Eastern Wayne, who is looking to gun for us, or South Central Wednesday. If we can be fortunate enough to win that then we got Rose, who are looking to beat us and has come close and played well. We have a little rivalry with New Bern right now. We split with them after our hiccup in the seventh, so we really want to see them again and get ready for the playoffs.

DHC will return to action May 1, when it hosts the winner of South Central-Eastern Wayne at 6 p.m.

J.H. Rose 13, East Rutherford 1 (5 inn.)

An explosive eight-run second inning allowed J.H. Rose to down East Rutherford Tuesday at Guy Smith Stadium. 

The Rampants were led by Grant Charles Jarman (3-for-3, 2B, 2 Rs) and Marcus Allen (1-for-2, 2 Rs, BB, HBP). Easton Dally (2 Rs, BB, HBP) also had a strong game.

Clay Stanley picked up the win in a complete game. He gave up eight hits and one run, striking out two batters in a shortened outing. 

Rampants head coach Ronald “RV” Vincent picked up his 941st career win. The legendary Rose coach praised Mills for his involvement and leadership in the Pitt County Classic.

“This is awesome,” Vincent said. “We see a lot of good teams come through here and a lot of good games. It’s all over Pitt County, everyone is participating and it’s a great thing. You have to give Jason Mills credit. He gets the teams. You have to give him credit for getting this done. What a great event.” 

Vincent was happy with his team’s ability to capitalize on mistakes and be quick around the bases. 

“We took advantage of some passed balls and had some good base-running,” Vincent said. “Clay also did a great job on the mound. He did exactly what he needed to do — he threw strikes, our defense took care of him and he competed out there.”

Rose will host Southern Wayne on April 30 for the first round of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament. 

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

Greene Central 5, Pamlico County 2

Greene Central wrapped up a 3-0 tournament run Tuesday after defeating Pamlico County. 

Jalin Connor (2-for-3, 2 Rs, 2 RBIs, BB) led the way for the Rams at the plate. Zach Taylor took the win from the mound, giving up just one earned run, while striking out three in a complete-game effort. 

GC (10-8, 5-6) will get back to conference action on May 2, when they play a crucial game on the road against Ayden-Grifton.

SOFTBALL

D.H. Conley 13, Greene Central 1

DHC defeated Greene Central Monday afternoon on the final day of the Lady Vikings Easter Tournament. 

Lexi Vincent picked up the win from the circle, giving up no wins, no walks and striking out five batters in two innings. Alexis Phillips went two for three with a RBI and scored four runs. Madison Bowers (2-for-3, 3 Rs) and Anna Sawyer (2-for-3, 3 RBIs) also had strong outings for Conley. 

Elexie Sutton scored the lone run for the Rams.

Conley (19-1, 12-0) will host the winner of South Central vs C.B. Aycock on May 1. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.. GC (10-6, 7-4) will host Farmville Central on April 29. 

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