Midway opened the NCHSAA 2-A state playoffs with a pair of shutout wins at home in varsity baseball and softball Tuesday night. The fifth-seeded baseball team took down Southeastern Athletic 2-A Conference and Sampson County rival No. 28 Clinton and the ninth-seeded softball team beat No. 24 Manteo.
After a slow offensive start, Midway’s bats heated up in a 10-0 baseball win in six innings over Clinton.
“We made some adjustments at the plate early,” said Midway baseball coach Justin Carroll. “We were waiting around a little bit and not being as aggressive as we should have been. We started being aggressive and hitting some balls hard and really ran the bases well tonight.”
The win was Midway’s third against Clinton this season.
“They’re a tough team,” Carroll said. “They played us really tough two times in the regular season (Midway won 2-1 at home and 4-0 at Clinton). Blake Smith is a really good pitcher and he competes really well. They’re a good team. They’re talented. I think they’ll be pretty good in the next couple of years as well.”
Senior Nate Smith pitched the complete game shutout for the Raiders (14-8), giving up no runs on one hit and one walk, with five strikeouts.
“Nate did a great job on the mound and we played pretty well defensively behind him,” Carroll said.
Senior Carson Barefoot had two hits, two RBIs and one run scored to lead Midway at the plate.
Casey Culbreth had a double, two RBIs and one run scored. Trey Gregory had one hit, two RBIs and one run scored. Smith and Hunter Tyndall each had one hit, one RBI and two runs scored. Grant Barefoot had one hit and two runs scored. John McLamb had one hit and one run scored.
Midway scored one run in the third inning, two in the fourth and seven in the sixth.
Clinton ends the season with a record of 10-12.
Defense and timely hitting were major factors as Midway’s softball team won 5-0 over Manteo.
“Hitting has been our weakest link,” said Midway softball coach Susan Clark. “We’ve tried everyone and everything and we’ve switched things around and I know it’s coming. Tonight, we put some singles together and made some things happen.”
Freshman Jordyn Christopher pitched the complete game shutout for the Raiders (14-7), giving up no runs on one hit, one walk and one hit batter, with seven strikeouts.
“Jordyn did an awesome job on the mound,” Clark said. “She is a freshman and that’s a lot of pressure. And she did a super job.”
Freshman Kiley Ives had two hits, one RBI and two runs scored and junior Jaycie Byrd had two hits, including a triple, and two runs scored to lead Midway at the plate.
McKenzie Williams had one hit and three RBIs. Cassidy King had one hit and one RBI. Rylie Williams had one hit and one run scored. Karabeth Benton, Glenna McLamb and Eva McLamb had one hit apiece.
Junior Taryn Booth had the lone hit for the Redskins (8-11).
Midway scored three runs in the third inning and one apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.
Midway’s baseball team will host another conference opponent in the second round as the Raiders take on No. 12 St. Pauls (18-6) on Thursday. Midway won both regular season meetings, winning 7-6 at St. Pauls and 16-7 at home.
“We’ll just keep doing kind of what we have been doing,” Carroll said. “Practicing hard and just staying crisp out there. Just keep playing our game.”
Midway’s softball team travels to No. 8 South Columbus (18-2) for the second round.
“We really have to focus at the plate a little better than what we’re doing,” Clark said. “Hitting’s going to be the difference between winning and losing.”