NC: Apex Pressures Garner Into 4th Round


PBR Staff
Prep Baseball Report

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Apex  6 Garner Magnet  4


PBR was on hand at Garner on Tuesday night for a NCHSAA 4A playoff game with Apex visiting the Trojans of Garner.  Apex entered having upset Holly Springs in round 1 and taking care of Heritage at home in round 2.  Garner was at home for the 2nd time in the playoffs, after upsetting DH Conley on the road in round 2.  


NC State commit Jaxon Lucas started on the mound for Trojans as Senior Bryce Murray toed the rubber for the Cougars.  The game started out well for the Trojans in the first as Lucas retired the top of the Cougar's line up in 1-2-3 fashion, striking out 2.  In the bottom half of the frame the Trojans struck first plating two runs with RBI's by Nick Safrit and Henry Gardner.  


The Cougars struck back quickly as they put up two of their own in their 2nd at-bat.  Matthew Prince started the inning with a 2 out single.  From there Aaron Kimbrel roped a triple which was just out of the reach of the Trojan centerfielder Lane Herndon.  Kimbrel then scored on a throwing error by Trojan SS Ivan Sierra.  The Cougars would expand their lead in the 3rd, getting two on base due to errors.  Sophomore Will Newton then steps into the box and ropes a single to score two, pushing the lead to 4-2 after 3 innings.


Garner would tie it in the 4th. Doubles by Jaxon Lucas and Ivan Sierra were followed by a single by Senior Nick Safrit scoring them both.  


The top of the 5th would be the deciding inning for the Apex offense.  They plated two more, now leading 6-4.  A leadoff double by senior Charley Hegeman was followed by a HBP.  Both runners were moved over by a sac bunt from Will Newton.  John Cnare then hit a line drive back to the pitcher for an out, but the inning ending double play couldn't be converted as the Trojans made another throwing error, scoring both Cougar base runners.  


The Trojans managed to load the bases in the 5th, but couldn't squeeze anything across.  Garner fought back again in the 6th as they got the bases loaded with no outs.  Apex gets a fielders choice at home and then centerfielder Will Newton crushes the rally as he makes a spectacular catch in CF and doubles up the runner at second to get out of the jam.  All quiet in the 7th as the Apex Cougars Cinderella story continues with a 6-4 victory.


Apex will be on the road at Pinecrest on Friday in the 4A Eastern Semi-Finals.  Garner’s year comes to an end as the Trojans finish 18-7.


Apex Stats
+  Sam Schall - 1-4, 1R
+ Charley Hegeman - 1-4, 2B, 1R
+ Will Newton - 1-3, 2RBI
+ Matthew Prince - 1-3, 1R
+ Aaron Kimbel - 1-3, 3B, 1R, 1RBI
+ Bryce Murray - ND in start, 3IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 3BB, 1K
+ Aaron Kimbel - Win, 4IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 2K


Garner Magnet Stats
+  Jaxon Lucas - 1-4, 2B, 2R
+ Ivan Sierra - 1-3, 2B, 2R, 1RBI
+ Nick Safrit - 2-4, 2RBI
+ Henry Gardner - 2-3, 2B, 1RBI
+ Landon Herndon - 2-4
+ Jaxon Lucas - Loss, 4.2IP, 7H, 6R, 1ER, 1BB, 7K
+ Henry Good - 2.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K