One clutch comeback was all that Lake Norman could muster in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 4A playoffs.
The Wildcats battled back from near disaster courtesy of a final at-bat rally to defeat East Forsyth, 4-3, during opening-round play but were unable to conjure up similar such success following a 7-3 defeat to t Providence.
With the split of second-season play held over the course of a mere three-night span, Lake Norman closes out its season with a 22-6 record.
Shouldered with the No.15 seeded status in the West Region bracket, it took a while and some late-game magic for the Wildcats nudge past No.18 seeded East Forsyth, 4-3, in drama-filled first-round play.
Trailing by a 3-0 count entering the home half of the sixth, the Wildcats tallied all of their runs in the bottom half of the frame to escape.
Dylan Arment’s two-run double helped lead the come-from-behind charge. Also during the timely turn at bat, Cole Robbins came through with a run-scoring single, while Carson Arnold delivered a sacrifice fly.
The late-inning eruption served to make a winner out of starting pitcher Carter Sheppard, who worked the first six innings and allowed all three runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Arment was called on to work the seventh to collect the save, allowing a hit while striking out two.
Rudd Ulrich and Scotty Diekman added a base hit each.
Facing off against No. 2 Providence Lake Norman ran out of luck in being dealt the season-ending, 7-3 loss.
Starting pitcher Cameron Arnold was tagged with the loss, joined in the pitching department by Dawson Salter and Myles McGovern. Combined, the crew surrendered the seven runs on six hits while striking out one.
At the plate, the duo of Diekman and Sheppard each cranked a double and were joined by Vance Anderson and Gage Smith with single base hits each. Smith was credited with a pair of runs batted in.