Opinion: Big week in store for local baseball clubs
Snow, ice, rain. Davidson County has seen it all the last two months and Mother Nature claimed yet another victim Friday. The East Davidson-Ledford nonconference baseball game was washed out by thunderstorms.
While many look forward to the annual meeting between the Golden Eagles and Panthers, there are certainly bigger games serving more importance this coming week for both. A washout might not have been such a bad thing.
In the previous three seasons of competition on the diamond in the Central Carolina Conference, the champion has either been East or West Davidson. With one game separating the two and each having at least a two-game advantage over the next closest team, it will once again come down to these two schools.
The Eagles are 8-0 while the Green Dragons are close behind at 7-1 – the one loss coming to third place North Rowan. Two games are left on the conference schedule for each. They happen to be against one another.
West will host the first meeting 7 p.m. Monday at Feezor Field in Tyro, while the rematch will come two days later at East. The Eagles have already guaranteed themselves a playoff spot, but a conference championship would make the postseason berth a lot better. A win either day would give them the outright title.
The CCC is set up in a unique way and I think it should be implemented in conferences throughout the state.
In the scheduling, two teams face each other twice in the same week. What makes that so great? It eliminates the same pitcher from facing a team twice.
In the past, coaches have been able to set up their rotation in order for their ace to face the top teams two times. Now, a coach must send someone else to the hill in one of the games and it makes the playing field a lot more even.
So the Eagles will likely send Ryan McIntire out for one game with Nick Williams taking the other. Unless head coach Dan Tricarico opts for the method that worked well last season, when he used Avery Bowles and Braxton Shetley a couple of innings each game, so they could appear in both games.
West will definitely send Lefty Freeman to the mound in one game and it likely will come Monday night.
In the Mid-Piedmont Conference, first place has already been secured by Southern Guilford. But the battle for second is shaping up to be a good one, especially with a home game for the playoffs on the line.
Ledford has positioned itself well and stands a half game ahead of Southwestern Randolph in the standings. The Panthers have not hit the ball well this season, but the last two outings have been pleasant surprises with a pair of dominant wins. They beat MPC foe Central Davidson 11-1 Wednesday, then made the short turnaround Thursday and clobbered Parkland 17-4.
Next on the schedule is an away meeting with Asheboro on Tuesday. A win in that one could potentially set up a Senior Night battle with the Courgars on Thursday to decide the second seed.
It should be an exciting week, that is unless Mother Nature has a few more tricks up her sleeve. The current forecast calls for wet weather at the start of next week. It has already been a long season dealing with the weather. Coaches and players may have to wait out another headache or two before anything can be decided.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.