3A West Region Final: Sun Valley at Cox Mill
June 24, 2021
Sun Valley – 4 Cox Mill – 6
The 3A West Final saw two teams playing at a high level, each one win away from a State Championship series. Cox Mill would host, one day later than scheduled due to rain, a raucous crowd that had plenty to cheer about on each end. Ultimately, Cox Mill prevailed with a big pitching performance and timely hitting, advancing to the 3A State Championship Series where they will face JH Rose HS.
Cox Mill jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead with an RBI single from Martin Gair (2021 DH/RHP, UNCW commit), through the 6-hole. The Chargers would again threaten in the 2nd with runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs, but Sun Valley starter Derek Vartanian (2021 RHP, Guilford Tech commit) wiggled off the hook.
In the 3rd, the Chargers took command of the game. Cox Mill starter Cale Oehler (2021 LHP, Brevard commit) worked out of a bases loaded, 0 out jam with a soft ground ball and a key strikeout. In the bottom half, the Chargers opened the frame with 4 consecutive singles, plating 2 runs. A one out sac fly from Jack Brandle (2022 1B) would plate Joe Javier (2022, 3B) with Cox Mill’s 4th run.
Sun Valley showed some fight in the 4th. A two out single from Andrew Cox (2021 2B), brought Jacob Bowman (2021 OF) to the dish. He deposited the first pitch he saw in the at-bat over the left field wall, pulling Sun Valley to with in 2 runs.
Oehler would retire 6 of the next 7 batters faced. Kyle Cassell (2021 OF) drove a ball out of left field for a 2 run shot in the 5th, putting Cox Mill up 6-2. In the 7th, Oehler walked the leadoff hitter and hit the 2nd batter, bringing in reliever Zach Burgbacher (2021 RHP). Burgbacher quickly got an out with a pop up, before surrendering a double to Greg Bello (2021 3B, Southeastern CC commit), scoring 1. With the tying run at the plate in Jack Wooten (2021 DH), Burgbacher induced some heroics with a ground ball. Shortstop Nick Alderfer (2021 SS, Queens commit) ranged 4 steps to his right, backhanded the ground ball and threw to 1B, making a tough play look easy. The runner on 3B, Brandon Burtterworth (2021 SS, Western Carolina commit) scored easily. The runner at 2B, Bello got caught in between when Alderfer ranged to make the play. 1st baseman Jack Brandle quickly threw back to 2B where Bello was tagged, ending the game.
Cox Mill will face JH Rose at JP Riddle Stadium on Friday for game 1, with games 2 and 3, if needed, scheduled for Saturday in Fayetteville as well.
Cox Mill Notes:
+ Cale Oehler – Win, 6IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 7K
+ Zach Burgbacher – Save, 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
+ Nick Alderfer – 3-3, 2B, 1R
+ Martin Gair – 2-4, 1R, 2RBI
+ Joe Javier – 2-4, 2R, 1RBI
+ Kyle Cassell – 2-3, HR, 1R, 2RBI
+ Jack Brandle – 1-2, 1RBI
Sun Valley Notes:
+ Derek Vartanian – Loss, 4IP, 10H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K
+ Mason Tinsley – 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
+ Brandon Butterworth – 1-3, 1R
+ Greg Bello – 2-3, 2 2B, 1RBI
+ Andrew Cox – 1-3, 1R
+ Jacob Bowman – 1-2, HR, 2R, 2RBI
*Scout Blog will be posted soon with other coverage from Regional Finals.