Teams in this post:

Knights want share of CPC title

North Davidson’s E.P. Reese watches his RBI single against West Forsyth on Tuesday. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

It has been a difficult week for the North Davidson baseball team with the death of pitcher Josh Roberson’s mother to cancer and a heartbreaking loss to West Forsyth on Tuesday.

But the Knights can still gain a share of the Central Piedmont Conference championship Friday night if they win the rematch at West Forsyth. Game time is 7 p.m. in Clemmons.

“It was an emotional week with the death of Josh’s mom,” said North coach Mike Meadows. “We went to the funeral today as a team and we came back and we kind of took a deep breath. We kind of found a sense of normalcy at today’s practice. We missed Josh tremendously but we were able to refocus. I think we’ll come out ready to play. We had a good practice today. We’re going to lay it on the line.”

North, 14-7 overall, is 6-3 in the CPC, one game behind West Forsyth.

When the teams played Tuesday in Welcome, Roberson turned in a solid effort, a day after his mother passed away, in a 2-1 loss.

“He pitched well enough for us to win,” Meadows said. “We just didn’t make any plays or get any hits.”

Senior right-hander and staff ace Andrew Mayton will get the start Friday night. A big, hard-throwing pitcher who has signed to play football for Western Carolina, Mayton fired a three-hitter against R.J. Reynolds last week. Mayton is 5-3 with a 2.63 eared run average and 50 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.

The Knights also have decent firepower at the plate. Drew Beaver leads the Knights with a .407 batting average and 16 RBIs. Mayton is hitting .344 while Chase Mitchell is hitting .338 with 14 RBIs and Eric Morrow is hitting .323.

“We were picked to finish fifth of sixth in the league,” Meadows said. “We’ve locked up a playoff spot and we’re happy about that. We’d like to get a share of that title.”

Meadows said West Forsyth, 19-5 overall, has several good pitchers. But as to which one will start Friday, that’s a bit of a mystery.

“I don’t know for sure,” said West Forsyth coach Randy Pope. “We’ve got a couple of guys. We’ll see how they look tomorrow. It’ll probably be a game-time decision.”

If the Knights win Friday, they will share the CPC championship with West Forsyth. If that happens, next week’s conference tournament would decide who gets the all-important No. 1 seed for the 4-A state playoffs.

“That’s big,” Meadows said. “Not only do you get to play at home but you get to avoid the Southwest 4-A Conference in the first round. The No. 1 seed plays a team from the Piedmont Triad. It’s still good baseball but not as tough as a conference as the Southwest 4-A.”

Chances are, Friday’s game could be another pitching duel.

“Like usual, a dogfight,” Pope said.

Thanks to plenty of good pitching, there have been plenty of low-scoring games in the CPC this season.

“There aren’t any marquee pitchers like a Jordan Ramsey,” Meadows said. ‘But West Forsyth has three or four good ones. All the teams kind of beat up on each other. I think we have one of the toughest baseball conferences in the state.”

Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or