Orange, Wilson shut out E. Chapel Hill to win Hilltop division title
Orange freshman phenom Bryse Wilson had a simple game plan coming into the American Division championship game of the 2013 Hilltop Invitational Saturday night.
“Just throw like I normally do, get ahead with fastballs and then shut them down with curveballs. Hitting the corners,” Wilson said.
He used that strategy to whiff six batters, allow only two hits over six innings and increase his unbeaten streak to 6-0 as the Panthers knocked off East Chapel Hill 4-0 to claim the division title.
Orange senior first baseman Andrew Toney doubled twice and singled, and senior right fielder Nick Debo slammed a homer and got a pair of RBI to help clinch the Panthers’ win.
“It felt pretty good coming in as a freshman, and I’ve got the team behind us. I couldn’t be here without them because they back me up all the time,” Wilson said.
“We had already played them earlier in the season, and they gave us a pretty good fight. But we knew that we had Bryse on the mound, and with our defense behind us and with our bench we felt pretty good coming in,” Toney said.
“I felt great. After the first two games I didn’t do so well,” said Toney, who was batting .314 coming into the game.
This was the first time in four years Toney was on a Hilltop Invitational title team.
“We could probably do something really special this year if we keep at it, keep playing hard, practicing hard every single day, even on off-days,” Toney said of the 12-1 Panthers.
“(Freshman) Connor (Stough) pitched well and for the most part we played fairly well. We competed at the plate, we just couldn’t buy a hit,” said East Chapel Hill coach Phil Woodell. “It was a good weekend for us, no doubt.”
Orange jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning after speedy shortstop Jon Evans whiffed, but outraced the throw to first after East Chapel Hill catcher Josh Baldwin failed to handle the pitch and was charged with a pass ball.
Evans stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout by second baseman Joe Piscitelli and scored on a grounder by right fielder Nick Debo.
Orange went up 2-0 in the third inning after center fielder Collin Pope singled, went to second on a single by Piscitelli, and scored on an RBI single by Toney.
With two outs in the fifth inning Nick Debo drilled a line drive homer to center. Back-to-back doubles by Toney and catcher Brad Debo made it 4-0.
“(Nick) Debo hit a good pitch and hit it well,” Woodell said. “They scored the two runs in the fifth there and we knew we were going to have to string some hits together.”
Wildcats second baseman Bennett Byerley drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and Stough hit a flair single through the right side of the infield, but Jamari Burk banged one back to Wilson, who got the force at third and Burk was doubled up at first. Baldwin then grounded out, stranding Stough at second.
“A hit right there would have done wonders,” Woodell said.
Wilson said he wasn’t rattled during that jam.
“I always stay calm. I’ve got the senior leadership from Jon (Evans) and all the other seniors, and it really helps me,” Wilson said.
“Our defense has been pretty solid this year. I knew we were going to get out of it,” Toney said.
Orange 4, East Chapel Hill 0
ECH 000 000 0—0 3 1
Orange 101 020 x—4 6 0
Batteries — East Chapel Hill, Connor Stough (L, 0-2), Ian Breakfield (6th) and Josh Baldwin. Orange, Bryse Wilson (W, 6-0), Jonah Neville (7th) and Brad Debo.
Leading hitters — East Chapel Hill, Grant Neal 1-2, Connor Stough 1-3, Josh Baldwin 1-3. Orange, Andrew Toney 3-3 (2 2B, RBI), Brad Debo 1-2 (2B, RBI), Collin Pope (1-2), Nick Debo 1-3 (HR, 2 RBI).
Records — East Chapel Hill 7-6, Orange 12-1.
Northern 14, Chapel Hill 11
Chapel Hill 001 600 3—11 9 4
Northern 443 012 x—14 11 3
Batteries — Chapel Hill, Coby Fisher (L), Andrew Miller (2nd), Collins (4th) and Kevin Elefante. Northern, John Roberts (W, 2-1), Griffin Baker (4th), Josh Helm (7th) and Pete Vurnakes.
Leading hitters — Chapel Hill, Nick Hebert 2-4 (RBI), Ian Templeton 2-4 (RBI), Luke Ciocca 2-5 (2B, 3 RBI). Northern, Zack Garrison 2-4 (2 2B, RBI), A.J. Bumpass 3-4 (3 RBI), Jordan Fate 2-4 (3 RBI), Dillon Roberts 1-5 (HR, RBI).
Records — Chapel Hill 5-8, Northern 6-8.