After eight conference games, the Watson Chapel and White Hall baseball teams are tied for first in the 5A South Conference with one loss apiece.
“One of our goals this season was to win the conference championship,” Watson Chapel head coach Chad Cope said. “So to be at the top of the conference, is right where we want to be.”
As of now, Chapel holds the tiebreaker after defeating White Hall 12-10 in seven innings on March 28.
Chapel rallied from a four-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning by scoring seven runs and held on in the top of the seventh.
Cameron Banks was credited with the win for the Wildcats after pitching 3 1/3 and allowing three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He was also 2 for 3 with three RBIs, a run and a walk.
Banks is on of the four seniors in which Cope has been leaning on this season. The others include Jordan Stargell, Keieron Savagae and Trevor Lankford.
“This is by far the youngest team that I have had at Watson Chapel,” Cope, who has been head coach at Chapel for four years, said. “We have a lot of young kids and it has been kind of a roller coaster sometimes.
“But they have played real well and they are a fun group to coach.”
White Hall defeated Chapel last season in the state championship in Fayetteville.
Cope said since the two schools are so close to each other, many of his players have friends who play at White Hall.
“The kids know what it is,” Cope said. “Having friends on each other teams just adds a little bit to it.
“White Hall has a very good team.”
Cope said the Bulldogs are “just like us.”
“They want to win a conference championship,” Cope said.
Chapel will host Magnolia on Friday.
“They have a strong tradition in baseball,” Cope said. “We caught a few breaks last week.”
Chapel had just four hits but defeated Magnolia 5-2 on April 9.
Justin Pierce was credited with the win after 2 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits with three walks.
Jalyn Jackson pitched 3 1/3 and allowed just two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Josh Dardenne pitched an inning of relief and did not allow a runner to reach.
Trevor Langford*** finished 1 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Dalton Baker was 1 for 3 with a RBI.
“I expect we will have to be at our best,” Cope said. “We will have our hands full.”
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***This article has been updated from its original version to correct a misspelled name.