It’s now been 19 days since we last saw South Fork 2A action on the baseball diamond. And while we’d like to be able to say that the games will resume soon, that is still to be determined.
When play was halted by Covid-19 on March 13, the Maiden Blue Devils were tied at the top of the conference standings with Lake Norman Charter with perfect 2-0 marks. In fact, the Blue Devils were 6-0 to start the season, including non-conference play, under head coach Dustin Hill.
Part of the reason for that is hot-hitting Dalton James. The junior is batting .500 (6 for 12) through the first six games, with 4 RBIs and 6 runs scored.
Senior Bain Sipe is batting .333 (6 for 18) for Maiden, with 3 RBIs and seven runs scored. He also has a pair of doubles. Austin Hoyle, a junior, has a .312 (5 for 16) batting average with four runs driven in and Ross Fowler has already picked up six RBIs.
On the mound, Fowler is 2-0 with a 0.oo ERA. In nine innings pitched, the senior has allowed no runs on just 2 hits, striking out 19 and walking only one.
James has struck out 16 batters while walking seven, and junior Jacob Cauble has a 1.24 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched, giving up just one run on three hits, striking out 12 and walking five.
Maiden pitchers have recorded 68 strikeouts through just six games.
Co-leader lake Norman Charter is 3-2 overall, and is led by Chris Torres. The senior is batting .357 (5 for 14) with four runs driven in and 5 runs scored.
Junior Drew Gugino is hitting .333 (6 for 18) with five RBIs, 5 runs scored and a pair of doubles. Senior Jackson Shore has also picked up 5 RBIs.
On the hill, Shore has a 1.91 ERA in eleven innings pitched. He has struck out 18 batters and walked five. Junior Jared Ryan has struck out 17 hitters in just eight innings of work, walking only four.
Lincolnton, who is 4-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play, has been well balanced. Senior Zed Register is batting .375 (5 for 14) with four runs scored, and fellow senior E.J. Manjarres has a .357 average with three runs scored.
Sophomore Sam Carpenter is hitting .364 with three runs scored, and a pair of freshmen, Easton Dellinger (.333, 4 RBIs) and Will Blackburn ( 4 RBIs, 5 runs scored) have been key contributors.
Junior Gavin Queen is 2-0 on the mound for the Wolves. Queen has a 1.27 ERA in eleven innings pitched. Manjarres has allowed just two runs in 8 innings pitched, striking out 9 and walking just one.
For North Lincoln, also 4-1, 1-1, seniors Sam Brady and Jake Soorus have started hot. Brady is batting .500 (7 for 14) with 9 runs scored, and Soorus has a .421 (8 for 19) average with eight RBIs.
Sophomore Landon Reeves is 2-0 on the bump with an ERA of 0.00. In 12.2 innings of work, Reeves has struck out 19 batters and walked just one. Fellow sophomore Jack Waggoner has not allowed a run in seven innings pitched.
The East Lincoln Mustangs are 2-3 overall and 1-1 in SF2A play.
Junior Matthew McCowan has been the hottest hitter in the early going, batting .625 (10 for 16) with 5 RBIs, 7 runs scored and three doubles.
Senior Ethan Martin is hitting .429 with a pair of runs batted in and two runs scored, and sophomore Graham Smiley has a .385 (5 for 13) average with 4 RBIs and 6 runs scored. Jordan Fisher, a junior, is hitting .308 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored for the Mustangs.
Junior Ben Kleckner has been solid on the mound for East Lincoln, posting a 1.75 ERA with three strikeouts and no walks.
West Lincoln is also 1-1 in the SF2A, and 3-3 overall. Chandler Carpenter leads the team with a .529 batting average. The senior has 3 doubles, two RBIs and 7 runs scored.
Brett Mason, a sophomore, is hitting .316 with 2 RBIs and five runs scored and senior Nathan Beam is batting .308 with four doubles, 3 RBIs and two runs scored.
In 13.1 innings on the mound, senior Chris Moxley has posted a 3.65 ERA with 23 strikeouts. Fellow senior Kelton Towery has a 0.70 ERA with six strikeouts in 10 innings pitched.
Bandys, along with Newton-Conover, are 0-2 in conference play. The Trojans are an even 3-3 overall, led by senior Elec Yount’s .500 (5 for 10) batting average. Yount has three runs batted in and 4 runs scored.
Parker Styborski, a sophomore, is hitting .400 (6 for 15) with three RBIs and 4 runs scored. Hunter Jones has 7 RBIs for Bandys, and Landon Leonard has driven in six.
Nick Andrews has been great on the mound for the Trojans. The senior is 2-0 with and ERA of 0.70 in 10 innings pitched. He has allowed just one earned run on six hits, striking out 14 and walking four.
As you can see, many players in the South Fork 2A Conference are off to fast starts. All we can do now is hope that the players can get back on the playing field sooner than later.