Nine area players named to all-state team

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 09:24 PM

The baseball is pretty good around here, according to, which has included nine area high school players on its all-state teams.

Jordan’s Wood Myers, Riverside’s Jake Kusz and Northern’s Zack Garrison made the 4-A all-state team after leading their PAC-6 squads into the playoffs.

Kusz was strong both at the plate as a batter and behind it as an all-conference catcher, helping his Pirates secure not only a league championship but also conference coach of the year honors for first-year Riverside skipper Doug Simmons.

Garrison was an all-PAC-6 pitcher, and Myers was one of the best infielders in the league, also earning all-conference recognition. Garrison also played in the infield and warranted honorable-mention status in the PAC-6.

In 3-A baseball, Hillsborough Orange’s Nick Debo and Jon Evans garnered all-state spots after helping the Panthers to a 27-4 campaign, tying the school record for wins in a season.

Evans established a school record with 11 saves.

Orange came up a game short of playing for the state championship, losing to Greenville’s Conley High School in the Eastern regional finals. Debo belted a solo home run in that game and got the Panthers within a run of catching up with Conley, but the Vikings pulled away, eventually losing out on the state title to Weddington High School, located in Union County..

On the 2-A level, Pittsboro Northwood’s Robert Straughn and Justin King were among the best baseball players in the state.

Straughn had a rough outing on the mound that day when North Brunswick’s hot bats singed Northwood’s shot at playing for the state title.

Piedmont High School, in Monroe, wound up beating North Brunswick for the 2-A title.

Back in Durham, 1-A Voyager’s Loy Stone and Chad Sykes were all-state performers.

Sykes had to absorb a painful 17-1 loss recently at Southern High School when Midway, out of Dunn, ended Voyager’s plans to play for a state championship.

South Stanly, located in Norwood, beat Midway for the 1-A crown.