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Tigers hit their way to regionals

Stephanie King

If there was anyone left who didn’t know just how good the Randleman Tigers are, they sure found out on Tuesday. For the eight consecutive season the Tigers advance to the fourth round of the state baseball playoffs after defeating sixth seeded Midway 7-0.

Matt Kemp gave up a walk to the leadoff batter before the Tigers got back to back outs to start the first inning. Another walk would put runners on first and second for the Raiders, but Randleman made the play at first for the final out of the inning. The Tigers got things going early in the bottom of the inning as the first two batters reached base. Mason Matthews took a pitch to the shoulder followed by Dominick Poole who drew a walk. Midway got back to back outs before giving up a walk to Nick Neal that loaded the bases for the Tigers. An infield single from Tyler Yates brought Matthews in for the first run of the night. Randleman would leave three runners stranded as Koty Ransom was thrown out at first for out number three. After one inning of play, Randleman led 1-0.

It would be a quick top of the second as the Tigers forced the Raiders into a three up, three down inning. Kemp would strikeout two of the three batters. Midway got a quick out to start the bottom of the inning but Connor Sterling picked up his first hit of the night with a single to center. The Raiders picked up out number two before Poole doubled to center to put runners on second and third. Both runners would score off a single from Kemp to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Ramsey Petty would beat the to first for a single that put runners on the corners for the Tigers. Both he and Kemp would be left stranded as the Raiders got the final out of the inning. Randleman led 3-0 after two innings of play.

Randleman continued to show their dominance as they forced the Raiders into a quick three and out inning in the top of the third for the second straight inning. Yates led off the bottom of the inning with a double to center as the ball hopped over the fence. Midway got back to back strikeouts before a single from Sterling scored Yates to bring the Tigers’ lead to 4-0. Matthews took another pitch to the shoulder to put runners on first and second. Matthews would be thrown out at second for out number three after a hit from Poole. With three innings in the book, Randleman led 4-0.

Midway continued to struggle against the Tigers defense as they were forced into another one, two, three inning in the top of the fourth. Kemp got things started in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run over the center field fence. Petty drew a walk before the Raiders picked up back to back outs. Yates would draw a walk and be left stranded as Ransom struck out for out number three. Randleman led 5-0 after four innings.

The Tigers continued to dominate on defense as they continued to hold the Raiders scoreless. Midway would be forced into another three up, three down inning. The Raiders opened the bottom of the inning with an out right away before giving up a base hit to Sterling. After out number two, Poole took a pitch to the arm to put runners on first and second. Both runners would score off a single from Kemp. Kemp would be left stranded as the Raiders got themselves out of the inning with the final out. The Tigers were in control 7-0 after five innings.

Randleman made a pitching change to start the top of the sixth as Poole came in to relieve Kemp. The Tigers got two quick outs including Poole’s first strikeout of the night. Midway picked up a hit but the runner was left stranded as the Tigers got the final out of the inning. The Tigers would go scoreless for the first time in the game as they were forced into a quick one, two, three inning. The Raiders would turn a double play to end the inning.

The top of the seventh started with two quick outs by the Tigers. Randleman gave up a single to the Raiders before making the play at first for the final out. The Tigers got the win 7-0 to advance. Matt Kemp pitched five innings and gave up no hits and no runs while striking out five. Tyler Yates and Connor Sterling each finished with three hits. Randleman picked up seven runs on eleven hits and improve to 23-5 on the season.

The Tigers will travel to North Lenoir on Friday to take on the Hawks at 7pm.

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