Prep Baseball Report

Top Stories of 2022: A Dominant Year of the Tigers

Brandon Hall
Mid-Atlantic Scouting Director

Following high school baseball in North Carolina, we all know, there are a ton of great stories, players, and teams to follow each year.  As we continue to look back at 2022, we will take a look at some of the great stories of the year.  Today’s look back features a  team that completed their season with only 1 loss and won the NCHSAA 2A State Championship.  Loaded on the mound, and in the box, they set multiple records on their way to the dominant 2022 season.

The Randleman Tigers assembled a roster in 2022 that was a heavy favorite for the state championship at the 2A level.  That talent was part of a muli-year build that saw the senior class play for a state championship as FR, potentially heading to another championship series in the COVID shortened 2020, and finally winning a state championship in 2021.  The 2022 squad would have a big target on their back from day 1 of the year, but would answer every challenge in one of the best season’s in North Carolina High School Baseball history.

The lineup featured several heavy hitters that could do damage at the top, but the overall depth of the lineup wore down opponents.  We featured the Randleman catcher, Brooks Brannon’s year as part of the top stories of 2022.  And while Brannon broke the state record for hits and RBIs, and tied the state record for Home Runs, one big reason was because the hitters around him were on base and forced the opposing team to attack him or give up free runs. Braylen Hayes (2022 OF), Trey Way (2022 Utility), and Gus Shelton (2022 1B) gave the Tigers, along with Brannon, four formidable seniors to deal with day after day.  Hunter Atkins (2023 INF) and Seth Way (2024 INF/P) added to the overall depth of the lineup.

During the 2022 season the Tigers averaged 11 runs per game on the season, including an average of 12.5 runs per game in the conference tournament and state playoffs.  The 10 run rule was imposed in 22 of their 34 games.

As good as the offense was, the pitching staff could argue that they led the Tiger squad.  Led by Drake Purvis (2024 LHP) and Ryan White (2022 LHP) there were not a ton of runs that were going to cross.  If their top starters needed help Austin Lemmons (2023 RHP), and Way were two more top end arms that could roll out numerous zeroes against most opponents.  During the 2022 season the pitching staff limited their opponents to 1.58 runs per game, including 17 shutouts.  Most impressive would be how the Tigers closed the season defensively, only yielding 7 runs in their final 10 games, with 5 of those runs coming in the state championship clinching win over Whiteville HS.

The Randleman season was one of the most dominant seasons in the history books of North Carolina.  Having profiled the 2022 season of the Providence Panthers, it would have been an epic series to have those two championship teams pair off in a winner take all series.  With the setup of the NCHSAA championships, we can only dream as to what would have happened.