The Carolina TomCats recently won the SC State Championship and it seems to have tripped their trigger as the team went on last weekend to win the NC State Championship in Gaston, NC.
“We were down a few players due to injuries and vacation but decided to play to keep our kids interested,” stated Coach Danny Hammet. “In this travel ball world today headhunters will try to sweep your players up when they are not playing and keep them on their team.”
The first game of the series was against the X1 Twins out of Charlotte, NC where the TomCats emerged with a 10-0 win in five innings.
Kennedy Beatty, Aaron Ballenger, Josh Epley, and Jonathon Lewis led at the plate with two hits a piece.
Will Palmer, Jayshuwa Gist, Jordan Sherbert, and Khadarius Dean each added a hit and the winning pitcher was Tyler Parker.
The second game featured a solid team from Monroe, NC called the Union County All Stars and the teams went the distance with the TomCats pulling out a 7-5 win.
With the victory came a top seed heading into Championship Sunday.
Jayshuwa Gist was the winning pitcher and Josh Epley led from the plate with a perfect 3 for 3 performance. Will Palmer, Jayshuwa Gist, Kennedy Beatty, Aaron Ballenger, Khadarius Dean and Jordan Sherbert each contributed a hit apiece.
“In these seeding tournaments strategy plays a big part whether you win or lose,” said Coach Ernie West. “Teams can save the good pitching till they are seeded and then come at you with a total different outlook.”
On Sunday, the TomCats drew a first round bye and then faced a battling Union County All Stars team that had advanced through the seeding brackets to face top seed.
The rematch was a close one with the All Stars’ ace pitcher holding the TomCats to two runs and the championship game was set.
The TomCats faced the X1 Twins once again, this time prevailing with a 10-2 victory to take the Championship.
Josh Epley got the win from the mound and Jayshuwa Gist led from the plate with two hits including a walk off single in the bottom of the fifth to enforce an eight run rule after five innings.
Will Palmer, Kennedy Beatty, Aaron Ballenger, Josh Epley, and Jordan Sherbert each added hits.
“We played really well this weekend and took more of the ‘I’ out of team,” said West. “The caliber of competition was really good and I think that’s what made us play so well. I just tried to keep them focused and not allow them to think it was automatic.”
The next scheduled tournament for the TomCats is a showcase for southeastern teams on July 7-8 at Limestone College.