05/19/13 — Dixon defeats North Duplin baseball

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Dixon defeats North Duplin baseball

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 19, 2013 12:01 AM

CALYPSO -- Dixon High School starting pitcher J.P. Padgett took the ball in warmups and never gave it back.

The UNC-Pembroke signee tossed a complete game and logged 13 strikeouts as the Bulldogs outlasted North Duplin, 4-2, in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state baseball playoffs on Friday night.

The Bulldogs (17-9 overall) travel to Tri-County champion Midway in the eastern semifinals on Tuesday.

"J.P. has been our go-to guy all season," Dixon assistant coach Nick Raynor said. "It seems like he has gotten even stronger in the playoffs. Tonight he gave us a great outing."

Padgett was staked to an early lead in the top of the first inning.

Zack Sicknick led off the game with a double and Daniel Vinson reached on a fielder's choice. Quinn Ryan walked to load the bases and one pitch later Sicknick scored on a wild pitch.

Vinson made it 2-0 when he raced home on a throwing error.

North Duplin got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Bryce Best singled and Ced Kornegay was hit by a pitch. Mitchell Thigpen brought both runners around with a double into the gap and tied the game 2-2.

"Mitchell got a big hit for us when we needed something to happen offensively," North Duplin head coach James Hobbs said. "We tied the game up and gave ourselves a chance."

Dixon broke through again in the sixth inning.

Cameron Greeley walked, Corey Singleton put down a perfect sacrifice bunt and Sicknick followed with an RBI single. The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the seventh when Padgett scored on a triple by Tyler Ross, which boosted the score to 4-2.

"We have had a couple guys just come back recently off of injuries and they played big roles tonight," Raynor said. "Tyler Ross is only playing his second game back and he delivered a big hit late in the ballgame."

Padgett finished the game with a perfect bottom of the seventh that featured his final two strikeouts.

Thigpen took the loss for North Duplin despite allowing just three hits over four innings of relief.

"The third round of the playoffs wasn't our ultimate goal, but I am really proud of this team," Hobbs said. "We had guys battle for us all season, through injuries and things, and to make it this far is a testament to how hard the guys have worked."

North Duplin finished the season 17-7 overall.