Prep Baseball Report

New Hanover opens 3A East series with 3-0 win over Terry Sanford

Tim Hower
Coastal Preps, PBR Guest Writer

-- After spending 16 years working as a print journalist, Tim Hower decided to take his talents solely to the web by founding Coastal Preps. Coming in the summer of 2018, will be the premier source of high school sports news in Southeastern N.C. Search Coastal Preps on Facebook and Twitter to follow for updates and stories.  PBR is happy to have Tim helping cover the NCHSAA State Playoffs.

WILMINGTON -- Senior right-handed pitcher Brayden Barry tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out seven to lead the New Hanover baseball team to a 3-0 victory over Terry Sanford on Tuesday night at Buck Hardee Field.

With the win, the top-seeded Wildcats (25-0) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three 3A East championship series. They can wrap up a berth in the state championship series with a road victory Thursday. Junior southpaw Blake Walston (12-0, 1.31 ERA), a N.C. State commit, is slated to get the start for New Hanover, while Logan Brown (11-1, 0.83) will likely get the call for the Bulldogs.

Barry (12-0) allowed a leadoff single to ECU signee Christian Jayne, but proceeded to pick him off. A leadoff double from David John Herz was the only other hit No. 6 Terry Sanford (27-4) managed.

Barry retired the side in order in the third and fifth innings and didn't allow a runner to reach third base the entire night. He finished with 87 pitches, including 56 for strikes.

"I completely trust my pitching coach (Scott) Sandlin," said Barry, who recently committed to Francis Marion. "Me and him have a tight relationship, so whatever Kyle (Smith) puts down behind the plate I'm going to see it and then execute the pitch."

The Wildcats scored all three runs in the bottom of the first. UNCW commit Jac Croom laced a double down the right field line and moved to third on a wild pitch. A deep fly ball from Brett Kemp allowed Croom to dive across the plate with what turned out to be the winning run.

Smith, who reached on an error, and Walston, who hit an infield single, both scored on a two-out single from designated hitter Jonathan Manis.

"We were trying to be aggressive early, get a couple on scratch across a couple runs," Manis said. "During my at-bat, I wanted to get my foot down early. He's a really good pitcher, so I wanted to get the barrel out front and drive it somewhere."

Herz, who is committed to UNC, settled down after the rough opening frame. He allowed only one hit over the final five innings and finished with seven strikeouts.