Pitcher’s 4 hits, 0 runs over 13 innings gives Corinth Holders a chance at a state title

Corinth Holders’ senior Tyler Stufano pitched a complete game shutout against Holly Springs just five days ago. The Pirates needed him again on Saturday to beat the Golden Hawks 6-2 for the 4A East Region baseball title.

The Pirates were down 2-0 when Stufano entered the game after starting pitcher junior Landon Ginn left the game with a back injury after one inning. Stufano did not allow a run in the next six innings, giving No. 2 seed Corinth Holders (26-2) a win in the best-of-three series and a chance at its first state title in only its second year of 4A play.

Even with the win, Stufano thinks Ginn deserves to be the No. 1 starter.

“Honestly, he’s our ace,” Stufano said of Ginn. “I just came in and did my job. I always try to do my job to the best of my ability. He always does the best he can, but he’s been battling back injuries that have been killing him. It was great of him to try and go out there. I’m just glad I could get the win for us.”

In two games this week, Stufano had four hits and no runs in 13 innings.

In seven innings on Tuesday, Stufano shut out Holly Springs on three hits. In Saturday’s game, he allowed one hit in six innings with four 1-2-3 innings. He pitched to the minimum of 18 batters, thanks to catcher Alex Levesque throwing out two runners caught stealing.

Stufano said his fastball wasn’t as strong Saturday as it was on Tuesday, so he relied on more breaking balls.

“I noticed on Tuesday they were struggling with it,” he said, “so I exploited it.”

No. 3 seed Holly Springs (21-7) led 2-0 in the first when Matt Willadsen’s fly ball to right field was dropped. Patrick Trease scored Willadsen with a single and Trease scored from first base with a head first slide on Trevor Sheehan’s double to the left-center field fence.

Corinth Holders had five different players score runs and had four with RBIs.

Junior shortstop Tanner Smith contributed two runs scored with two RBIs. Designated-hitter Nick Tyler had one run with two RBIs. Stufano scored a run and had one RBI.

“We’ve had a big team effort,” Smith said. “It’s been that way a lot in the playoffs.”

Starting Friday, the Pirates will face Mooresville, the West Regional champ, in another best-of-three series for the state title. Mooresville, seeded 11th in its regional, swept Charlotte Ronald Reagan in two games.

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