The second ranked team in the state, (NCISAA) Harrells Christian Academy completed their regular season with an 8-5 win over O’Neal School in Southern Pines. HCA scored 4 runs in the first three innings before O’Neal tied the game in the bottom of the third. HCA led 6-5 through six innings. Harrells used 2 insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to put away O’Neal.
Nathan Casteen was the winning pitcher for Harrells. Mike Smith earned the save.
Offensively for HCA, Casteen had a triple to help his cause, and Joseph Phaneuf and Spencer Cooke each had a double. Rooks Wells slapped a home-run over the fence, and Smith,Zack Batts, Cory Sutton, Cooke, and Channing Kelly each had a stolen base in the victory..
It was a very good regular season for the Crusaders to say the least. They won their conference championship, and have high-hopes and big goals for the NCISAA State Playoffs. With pitching performances like Harrells has had throughout the season, they will be a tough out.
(Adam Capps is Sports Editor. For updates on high school sports in the county, follow the Sampson Independent, @SampsonInd, or Adam, @ac4birdie)