OAKBORO — With the 2021 Rocky River Conference regular season title and an automatic state playoff berth in hand, the West Stanly baseball team is now focused on claiming the crown in this week’s RRC Tournament.
The top-seeded Colts (11-1, 10-0 RRC) and second-seeded Mount Pleasant Tigers (9-3, 7-3 RRC) received first-round byes in the six-team conference playoff bracket.
On Monday night, No. 6 Montgomery Central (2-10, 2-8 RRC) advanced past No. 3 Forest Hills (5-5, 5-5 RRC) thanks to a 4-1 victory, while No. 4 Anson (4-8, 4-6 RRC) defeated No. 5 Central Academy (4-8, 2-8 RRC) with a 4-3 score.
Montgomery Central went on to upset Mount Pleasant 4-3 on Tuesday night; meanwhile, West Stanly easily took down Central Academy with a 17-2 final. The RRC Tournament championship game between West Stanly and Montgomery Central is scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m.
It’s been more than a month since the Colts have been beaten, with their only loss of the year a 3-0 defeat at home to South Stanly (7-3, 3-4 Yadkin Valley Conference) on April 30 in a nonconference game.
West Stanly responded to that loss with 11 straight wins en route to an undefeated regular season record in conference play. During that streak, the Colts outscored their opponents 116-21. According to Maxpreps.com’s rankings, the Colts are the third-best team in the 2A class division and the 29th-best overall team in the state.
The Colts had closed out their final week of the regular season with two RRC wins over Mount Pleasant to clinch the top spot in the conference. West Stanly notched a 5-3 victory during the June 1 game — clinching the RRC title with the win — and then a 9-3 win two days later.
On the other side of Stanly County, North Stanly’s baseball team is looking to top its own conference standings. The Comets (6-3, 6-0 YVC) will host Uwharrie Charter Academy (9-1, 6-0 YVC) on Wednesday night with the winner in the driver’s seat in the YVC.
Both teams are unbeaten in conference play, although the Comets did suffer a 10-8 home loss to South Stanly last week in what was designated as a nonconference game.