LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots win over Hoke County in the first round of the conference tournament was just enough to advance the team to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.
The NCHSAA released the brackets Monday and the Scots earned the No. 19 seed in the West with their 15-10 record. The lower seeding guaranteed Scotland a road game, today they will make the two-hour trip to Charlotte to take on No. 14 South Mecklenburg (20-7).
South Meck finished third in the South Meck 7 conference behind No. 1 Providence and No. 8 Ardrey Kell — both of whom received a bye in the first round.
On the mound, the Sabers are led by senior Alex Fenton who is 5-1 this season with a 1.71 ERA. Fenton has 45 innings pitched allowing 24 runs off 18 hits with 72 strikeouts.
Juniors Will Hoskins, Jackson Benjamin, James Johnson each have 29 strikeouts and combined for 38 runs and 62 hits.
Offensively, South Meck is led by senior Conner Gibbs is hitting .364 on the season with 21 RBIs, two doubles and a home run. Junior Zach Weston is hitting .246 with 16 RBIs, two doubles, one triple and two home runs.
Scotland will likely put senior Daly Marcano on the mound to take on the Sabers. Marcano has been a bulldog for the team this season with 58 innings pitched. The senior has a 1.68 ERA with seven wins and three losses in his starts this season. Marcano has tallied 45 strikeouts while allowing 34 runs off 59 hits with 14 walks and 17 errors.
Marcano led the Scots in the batter’s box with a .343 average in 91 plate appearances, the senior has 10 runs off 24 hits with 13 RBIs with two doubles.
Freshman Stewart Evans is batting .313 in his 71 plate appearances tallying 14 runs off 21 hits with 18 RBIs, two doubles and a triple.
Scotland was one of four teams from the SAC-8 to earn a bid to the playoffs along with Pinecrest, Jack Britt and Richmond.
The Fighting Scots finished in a tie for fourth in the conference with Hoke County. Pinecrest won the regular season and conference tournament to finish a top the SAC-8. Jack Britt finished second in the conference and in the tournament to earn their playoff bid. Richmond finished third in the conference to secure the final bid for the SAC-8.
The Patriots earned the No. 4 seed in the West with their 22-4 record and a first-round bye.
The Raiders and Buccaneers will both host in the first round, as Richmond earned the No. 15 seed in the West with its 17-7 record and will take on No. 18 Davie (10-11) and Jack Britt earned the No. 11 seed in the East with its 15-9 record and will take on No. 22 Riverside-Durham (12-11).
Scotland will travel to Charlotte tonight to take on South Meck. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets for the first round are $6. First round games can be played tonight or Wednesday, which is decided on a game-by-game basis by the teams.
The second round are scheduled for May 12.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]