Warriors advance through playoffs with doubleheader win against Camden County


Giovanna Talone

After the Warriors dominated the Wildcats in their first game, they understood their obligation to maintain their upper hand for the next round. Despite their victory, the Warriors stayed vigilant knowing the Wildcats may return the blow. As the Warriors entered their second game, the fans and coaches motivated the Warriors to start off strong.

The NC varsity boy’s baseball team (19-9) entered their first round of playoffs on Wednesday afternoon, April 27. After several games of preparation and continuous dedication throughout the regular season, the Warriors felt confident in their ability to win their matchup against the Camden County Wildcats (8-13-1). The Warriors entered the state playoffs slotted as the second seed, while the Wildcats stood as the third seed. Following the two back-to-back wins against the North Paulding Wolfpack (16-14) that closed out region play, the talk of the home game quickly spread around NC as the playoffs approached. NC fans filled the stands and supported the Warriors throughout the night. From vigorous cheers for each hit and score to white and orange body paint, the fans truly encouraged the Warriors and aided them in victory.

Batting first, the Wildcats stepped up to the plate against NC senior pitcher, Derek Brooks (4). Brooks pitched the inning without allowing the Wildcats to gain any hits or runs. After three outs, the Warriors prepared to bat. After an intense inning, the Warriors earned two runs and put NC in the lead. The second inning started with high energy from NC students and parents in the crowd. The Wildcats hit and ran, scoring a run for their team with the top of the second inning ending 2-1 for NC. During the bottom of the second, NC remained unsuccessful in finding home. The top of the third started with high confidence from the Warriors, determined to not let the Wildcats score. NC acquired this goal and got Camden out three times before the team could score. The batters entered the field with a motivated mindset. NC boasted five hits scoring five runs, and ended the third inning six points in the lead (7-1). 

The Wildcats persevered and stole two points during the fourth inning (7-3), but NC surpassed the Wildcats earning three points ending the fourth inning with a score of 10-3. Down seven points, Camden attempted to score and keep the game alive, but NC scored another three points ending the game 13-3 in the fifth inning due to the run rule. Out of Brook’s 67 pitches, the Wildcats hit and scored three balls. Out of the 47 pitches thrown from Camden County, NC hit 14 balls, scoring 13 points total. 

Senior Isaiah Hoskins went 2-for-3 with four RBIs, while sophomore Jay Abernathy went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. While Senior Colby Hall posted a 2-for-2 batting performance and collected four runs scored with one RBI, Sammy Rose went 3-for-3 with three runs.

“Playing a doubleheader, the first game often has an impact on the second game when we feel like we have built momentum. They say momentum is only as good as your starting pitcher and they came out and scored two runs in the first inning so we had to build our momentum back which we did in the third and fourth inning. I credit our guys who kept their faith and kept working,” head coach Tom Callahan said.

Starting the second game, the Warriors fell short after the first two innings, making them unable to score. On the other hand, Camden County scored two points in the first inning and led the game into the third inning(2-0). The Warriors gained two points in the third inning and tied the game entering the fourth(2-2).  None of the teams scored throughout the fourth inning. Determined to win the lead, the Warriors gained five points in the fifth and Camden scored three, with a score of 7-5. The slower-paced sixth inning resulted in only NC scoring a single point(8-5). In the seventh and final inning, NC did not score. With two strikes and two outs on the scoreboard and all three bases loaded, the game could go to either team. Junior pitcher Jakob McKinney (16) stood on the mound holding the pressure of the game on his shoulders. He pitched and struck out the Wildcat batter, closing the game 8-5. The crowd and team cheered in the excitement of the Warriors advancing to the next round of playoffs.

Senior Logan Bare went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs in game 2. Senior Ashton Bostwick hit a three-run home run providing electric energy for the entire team to feed off of. 

“Going into the second game we knew it wasn’t gonna be easy, they made it to the state playoffs for a reason. Just because we had won the first game, didn’t mean they were just gonna rollover, and they didn’t, they started off the game by scoring 2. We communicate and we pick each other up. We’ve been working together all year so it’s becoming really easy to trust the guy next to us,” McKinney said.

As the playoff season progresses, the Warriors plan to maintain their exceptional teamwork and persistence to stay on top. Knowing that they will play stronger teams, the Warriors took this game as preparation for the next. They plan to work on their skills in the meantime before their next game against the Woodstock Wolverines (11-4) on Tuesday, May 3 at Woodstock high school. The Warriors invite their fans to fill the stands as they continue through their foreseeable victorious games in the 2022 playoffs.