Asheville – T.C. Roberson baseball Rams and Enka Sugar Jets in softball both won their first two playoff games, with blowouts in round one.
The Rams rolled to victories of 16-0 and 5-2 in 4A state baseball playoffs. This year’s local softball queens, the Enka Sugar Jets (22-0), won their first two 3A playoff games by 18-0 and 5-1.
Batters of top seed T.C. Roberson (20-6) flooded Lake Norman 16-0 on May 9. Roberson exploded for seven runs in the first inning, and scored four each in the third and fourth frames. The game ended early after Lake Norman’s at-bat in the top of the fifth inning, due to a lead of at least ten runs.
Nick Parham, Tyler Kytta, and Zeb Swangim each knocked in two runs with a pair of hits. The Rams scored seven runs in the very first inning. Jake Parham singled in Carson Heath, for a 3-0 lead. Kytta singled in Nick Moses. 4-0. Two innings later, Nick Parham doubled in a run in the third inning for a 10-0 lead.
Lefty Micah Simpson earned the victory. “Micah set the tone on the mound, and shut down Lake Norman,” head coach Eric Filipek said.
In round two, Simpson struck out six in 3.1 innings and starter Reno Jeter fanned four in a 5-2 triumph over Southeast Guilford. SGHS had won its opener 7-3 at Asheville (14-10), but could not sweep local squads.
Nick Parham tossed two shutout innings to earn the save. He homered, and brought home another run when hit by a pitch. “Nick Parham broke the ice for us with his solo homer, when we were down 2-0 in the third,” Coach Filipek said. That cut the lead to 2-1.
Parham, also a slick fielding shortstop when not pitching, said that it felt good to contribute in various aspects of the victory.
The Rams scored three runs in the fourth, to seize a 4-2 lead. “We were grinding, with some good at-bats,” Filipek said.
The Rams in round three hosted eighth seed Huntersville Hopewell (22-6) on Tuesday. A win earns Roberson another home game, on Friday, May 19 versus the Charlotte Myers Park Mustangs-Cuthbertson winner. Roberson (22-8) tamed the Mustangs (22-5) by 5-2 in round four a year ago, before falling to eventual state champion Providence (34-0) in the state semifinals.
Also in 4A baseball, A.C. Reynolds (12-11) lost 16-11 at Alexander Central. In 3A, Enka (12-11) lost 13-7 at Asheboro.
Sweet Sugar Jet Success
Enka Sugar Jets (22-0) buried West Charlotte 18-0, at home in Candler. Enka led 13-0 after merely two innings. In the second frame, sophomore Samantha Reese smacked a three-run homer, and senior Peyton Wise tripled in two runs.
Enka won 5-1 over East Rowan, then hosted Tuscola (12-9) on Tuesday in round three. Jennifer Krug coaches the Sugar Jets.
In 4A softball, eighth seed Reynolds (13-7 beat South Iredell 5-0, but lost 8-4 to Ardry Kell. Roberson (7-14) in 4A, North Buncombe (8-12), and 2A Owen (12-8) lost openers. NBHS was the 3A state runner-up in 2022.