05/16/18 — Chargers are headed back to the "Ship"

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Chargers are headed back to the "Ship"

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 16, 2018 8:00 AM

Wayne Country Day is going to the "Ship."

A freshman's big swing helped make it happen Tuesday afternoon.

Carnes Edmondson mashed a pinch-hit, go-ahead home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and propelled the Chargers to a come-from-behind 12-3 triumph over Statesville Christian.

Edmondson's two-run blast enabled WCDS to punch its ticket to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A championship series for the first time since 2012.

The best-of-three affair starts Friday at historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson.

"Carnes stays calm under pressure," Chargers head coach Michael Taylor said. "I've seen him in JV games this year hit the ball very well. He's a quiet guy...just comes to the ballpark every day and kind of does his little thing.

"It's pretty cool to watch him action."

Taylor didn't expect Edmondson to touch them all during his one-and-only plate appearance on the day.

Tied at 3-all with one out, Caleb Brewer dropped a "bleeder" into center field.

Edmondson waited outside the on-deck circle as Taylor reported the substitution.

The instructions?

"He told me to just swing the bat," Edmondson said.

Edmondson worked SC reliever Josh Frye to a 1-1 count.

The next pitch was money.

"A fastball...down the middle," grinned Edmondson.

His first homer of the season and the Chargers' 18th overall woke up a dormant offense.

Catcher Case Kermode swatted a three-run shot off of the rootop of a house barely 10 yards behind the center-field fence as part of a seven-run, sixth-inning uprising. It was Kermode's third round-tripper this spring.

WCDS finished with 16 hits -- including four each from lead-off man Avery Browning and winning pitcher Amane Godo.

"I thought [in the] four, five and six inning our plate approaches were much better," said Taylor, whose team filed a perfect 12-0 workshett on its home diamond.

"We were jumping on that first-pitch fastball."

But the Chargers hardly resembled a No. 1 overall seed in the first three innings. They stranded seven runners and left the bases loaded on two occasions.

Three infield errors on routine plays allowed the fifth-seeded Lions to plate three unearned runs. Godo showed his frustration with two walks and two hit batsmen during that stretch.

Godo (9-1) fired a three-hitter and fanned three SC batters on strikeouts in five-plus innings. He is ineligible for the state finals due to the pitch-count rule.

Jack Talton threw 1 2/3 innings of no-hit, three-strikeout relief.

"We had some words in the dugout," Taylor said. "Our defense has been pretty darn good this year. The things we were doing the first three innings we had't done all year.

"We practiced them yesterday all day. All last week when we didn't play, we were practicing those type of situations. So we go back to the drawing board at practice tomorrow."

Thanks to a freshman.