Friday’s Rewind: Baird and Phillips propel No. 3 Hough over No. 1 South Mecklenburg
In a battle of Observer Sweet 16 teams, No. 3 Hough knocked off No. 1 South Mecklenburg 11-4 Friday behind the talented arms of Tyler Baird and Holden Phillips.
It was an effort that Hough head coach Jimmy Cochran is proud of but knows he wants to clean up on some things.
“I’m just really proud of our guys,” Cochran said. “I think that fourth inning really tells the story of who we are. We have two outs with nobody on, and yet we score five runs in that situation. I’m proud of my guys. I thought we played well tonight in a lot of phases, but there are also some things that we need to work to clean up.”
As Cochran has mentioned a lot recently, he feels fortunate to have an outstanding pitching unit that can claw its way through games and grind out long at-bats.
Baird found himself in a few of those situations in the game.
“You just have to have that chip on your shoulder and know you are going to go out there and dominate,” Baird said. “If they hit it, they hit it. But, you have to make them hit it first.”
Towards the end of Baird’s time on the mound, the Sabres put up three runs in the top of the fourth inning. There were runners on base with one out, and Baird remained composed.
He proceeded to strike out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
“You have to have all the confidence in the world in that spot,” Baird said. “Some dude gets on – don’t know how – could have been a hit. But you have to have the mentality that you’re going to get out of this and keep the team in a position to win, so that is all that matters.”
After Baird was pulled, it was junior Holden Phillips’ time, and he was just as composed and confident.
“I was lucky that the coaches have the trust that they have in me,” Phillips said. “I’ve worked hard this year and I was able to get into this critical position and was able to get it done. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and my coaches. I am just blessed to be in this position.”
A dominant win like this is a big confidence booster for the team. As the Huskies move forward into the latter part of their schedule, they feel using momentum like this will play a big part in the success that they hope to have for the remainder of the year.
“Since day one I know my brothers have my back and we have a chance to win no matter who we are playing,” Phillips said. “The pieces are starting to come together, and things are going to look really good for us this year.”
Baird echoed his teammate’s remarks.
“I think (the win) gives us a bunch of confidence,” Baird said. “We have battled this year and we are a very gritty team. We are coming to win it this year.”
THREE WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
Tyler Baird, Hough: The talented sophomore pitched four stellar innings totaling 9 strikeouts and only 10 hits allowed. He is one of the top pitchers in the class of 2025 for a reason, and he showed it in this game against one of the top teams in Charlotte.
Holden Phillips, Hough: After pitcher James Nesta was pulled, it was up to Phillips to close the game out. After he settled in, he finished off the game with 7 strikeouts of his own after coming in facing runners on base.
Jake Minarik, Hough: He hasn’t had the best outings so far this season batting, but it was Minarik who got the Huskies on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a blast over left field for a solo home run. He got an inning going where the Huskies would put up four runs.
▪ At one point in the third inning, Baird had more strikeouts than he did balls thrown. It wasn’t till the fourth inning that he started to show the slightest bit of fatigue.
▪ Holden Phillps finished the top of the fifth inning leaving three Sabers on base.
Hough improves to 10-2 and will travel to West Charlotte for a conference matchup on March 28 at 4 p.m. South Mecklenburg falls to 8-2 and will face Ardrey Kell twice next week, once on Tuesday and again on Friday.
South Meck: 0003100 – 4
Hough: 040502X – 11
WP: Tyler Baird (4.0 IP, 9K, 2BB, 1ER)
LP: Cole Gillis (4.0 IP, 1K, 2BB, 7ER)
Friday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Cade Boguslaw, Central Academy baseball: drove in four runs in a 13-3 win over Forest Hills.
Kian Chisholm, Berry softball: three doubles, five RBIs in a 14-8 win over Hopewell.
Anna Dew, Hickory Ridge softball: struck out 16 and allowed one hit in a 2-0 win over Cox Mill
Morgan Flowe, Hough softball: struck out 12 and had a no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Mallard Creek. Teammate Madden MaMahan-Waters went 3-for-4 with a home and four RBIs.
KK Hart, Providence Day girls soccer: three goals, assist in a 9-0 wiin over Harding.
Burns 20, Bessemer City 2
Butler 4, East Mecklenburg 3: The Bulldogs scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh and remained tied with Charlotte Catholic for the Southwestern 4A lead at 5-1. East Mecklenburg dropped to 4-2.
Cannon School 4, Jay M. Robinson 2
Cary Academy 11, Carmel Christian 8
Central Academy 13, Forest Hills 3: Cade Boguslaw drove in four runs, and the Cougars took advantage of seven Forest Hills errors in this Rocky River 2A-3A game.
Charlotte Catholic 15, Rocky River 0: The Cougars pounded their Southwestern 4A foes, as Nathan Schwartz tripled, singled and scored three runs. The Cougars are tied with Butler atop the conference, with 5-1 records.
Cherryville 13, Thomas Jefferson Academy 1: Kanon Willis homered for the Cherrymen in their Southern Piedmont 1A-2A victory.
Christ the King 8, Mountain Island Charter 2: Jake Dulski’s two-run homer lifted the Crusaders to a Catawba Shores 1A-2A win.
Christ School 10, Charlotte Latin 6: Latin’s Ryan Sweet singled and doubled.
Combine Academy 4, Christian Academy of Knoxville 0: Starting pitcher Ondret Vank worked six no-hit innings, striking out nine.
Community School of Davidson 11, Langtree Charter 4
Crest 10, Ashbrook 2
East Lincoln 13, Fred T. Foard 3: Isaac Armstrong and Matthew Phuntek each had three hits and scored three runs, as the Mustangs cruised to a Western Foothills 3A triumph.
Hickory Grove Christian 15, Concord Academy 1: Langston Rupert slammed two doubles, Colby Vanhook drove in four runs, and the Lions rolled to a one-sided Piedmont Athletic Conference victory.
Hickory Ridge 9, South Iredell 8: The Ragin’ Bulls improved to 5-1 in the Greater Metro 4 4A, good for first place. Reliever Sam Alessi got the victory. Tyler Hughesman had four hits for South Iredell.
High Point Christian 8, Gaston Christian 0
High Point Wesleyan 5, Charlotte Country Day 2: Country Day’s Malik Wood doubled and drove in both of his team’s runs.
Lake Norman 5, West Cabarrus 2: Gabe Gutter had two hits and scored twice, as Lake Norman improved to 3-1 in Greater Metro 4 4A play, trailing first-place Hickory Ridge (5-1). Aiden Anderson had two hits and scored twice for West Cabarrus
Lake Norman Charter 11, West Rowan 3: The Knights rolled to a South Piedmont 3A victory, behind Grady White (two doubles, two RBI) and Ian Hart (two hits, two RBI).
Langtree Charter 16, Bradford Prep 7
Maiden 8, Lincolnton 0
Mallard Creek 8, North Mecklenburg 1
Marvin Ridge 6, Cuthbertson 1
Metrolina Christian 10, Charlotte Stampede 0
Mooresville 7, Cox Mill 5: Jake Modrak drove in two runs, and Rowan Jackson had two hits and two runs in the Blue Devils’ Greater Metro 4 4A victory. Aiden Anderson had two hits and two runs for Cox Mill.
Mount Pleasant 19, Albemarle 0: The Tigers’ Bryson Wright and Aiden Garcia combined to throw a shutout in this Yadkin Valley 1A-2A game.
North Gaston 11, Forestview 2: Ashton Pope had four hits and three RBIs to lead North Gaston to an easy win. Starting pitcher Wyatt McSwain threw four innings, didn’t allow an earned run and struck out four. He also had a hit and two RBIs.
North Lincoln 5, St. Stephens 3: Logan Sammons had two hits and drove in three runs for the Knights in their Western Foothills 3A triumph.
Northwest Cabarrus 4, Jesse Carson 2: Dalton Hazlett smacked a double and drove in two runs for the Trojans in this South Piedmont 3A game.
Olympic 10, Palisades 0: Olympic grabbed an early lead after Mason VanFossen single, Devyn Campbell walked and Elijah Holmes singled. And then the Trojans padded their lead. Holmes was 2-for-2 with a triple. Tommy Soriano was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Isaiah Street and Charlie Warnke had two hits each.
Parkwood 10, Anson County 0
Piedmont Community Charter 1, Corvian Community 0: Corvian outhit Piedmont 5-1 in this Metro 8 1A contest.
Porter Ridge 10, Piedmont 5: Russell Vaughan pitched the Pirates to a Southern Carolina 4A victory, with relief from Luke McLean.
South Point 9, Stuart Cramer 7: Noah Andrews drove in three runs for Stuart Cramer in this Big South 3A game.
South Rowan 11, Concord 1
Weddington 6, Sun Valley 5
West Iredell 17, Statesville 2
West Lincoln 8, East Burke 2
Wesleyan Christian 5, Charlotte Country Day 2: Wesleyan scored three runs in the seventh and final inning to Raleigh and win.
Berry Academy 14, Hopewell 8: Kian Chisholm led the Cardinal with three doubles and five RBI.
Charlotte Catholic 11, East Mecklenburg 4: Opal Matthews had two hits and scored three runs for the Cougars in this Southwestern 4A game.
Charlotte Country Day 4, High Point Wesleyan 3
Cherryville 10, Thomas Jefferson Academy 0: The Ironmen improved to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in Southern Piedmont 1A-2A action.
Covenant Day 17, Central Academy 12: R.J. Llaneza went 5-for-5, and Charlotte Hall had four hits, including a double and triple, for Covenant Day. Addison Crawford homered for CATA.
Crest 10, South Point 0
East Gaston 14, Shelby 1: Alexis Boulware doubled and homered, leading East Gaston to a Southern Piedmont 1A-2A victory.
East Rowan 2, Central Cabarrus 1: The Mustangs won this meeting of teams that entered the day with 4-0 South Piedmont 3A records.
Fred T. Foard 12, East Lincoln 3: Foard (4-0 in Western Foothills 3A) has a one-game lead over North Iredell and North Lincoln.
Hickory Ridge 2, Cox Mill 0: The Ragin’ Bulls got a one-hitter from Anna Dew, who struck out 16 Cox Mill hitters. Dew also doubled and drove in a run. Hickory Ridge is 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the Greater Metro 4 4A and hosts Mooresville (3-0 in the league) Monday.
Hough 10, Mallard Creek 0: The Huskies rolled to a Queen City 3A-4A victory, as Morgan Flowe tossed a no-hitter and struck out 12. Madden MaMahan-Waters went 3-for-4, including a home run, and knocked in four runs.
Jesse Carson 10, Northwest Cabarrus 0: Carson’s Lonna Anderson tossed a one-hitter in this South Piedmont 3A game.
Kings Mountain 7, Forestview 2
Lake Norman 13, South Iredell 3: Kendall Robinson drove in six runs for Lake Norman in this Greater Metro 4 4A game.
Maiden 18, Lincolnton 1
Marvin Ridge 12, Sun Valley 2: Four Mavericks hit home runs in this Southern Carolina 4A game, including Riya Patel, who drove in three runs.
Metrolina Christian 15, Gaston Christian 2
Mountain Island Charter 23, Christ the King 0: Ellie Hatzopoulos went 3-for-4, including a home run, and drove in five runs for the Raptors in their Catawba Shores 1A-2A romp.
North Gaston 14, Ashbrook 1: North Gaston’s Skylar Smith slammed two triples and drove in five runs in this Big South 3A contest.
North Iredell 5, Hickory 4: Kynlie Moss’ two hits and two RBI helped the Knights to a Western Foothills 3A triumph.
North Lincoln 12, St. Stephens 10
Palisades 20, Harding 0: The Pumas scored a SoMeck 4A shutout, with Mia Vasquez Garcia driving in three runs.
Piedmont 7, Weddington 5: Abbi Wolrum doubled and drove in two runs, leading the Panthers to a Southern Carolina 4A victory.
Porter Ridge 20, Cuthbertson 1: The Pirates cruised to a Southern Carolina 4A victory, behind three RBI’s apiece from Madison Stamper and Kiersten Helms.
Providence Day 3, North Raleigh Christian 1 (8 innings)
Queens Grant Charter 23, Chambers 0: Addie Benton and Melissa Detweiler each swatted grand slams as the 1A Stallions blanked the 4A Cougars.
South Mecklenburg 3, Myers Park 0: The host Sabres won this SoMeck 4A first-place showdown, as Taylor Bartow pitched a two-hitter and struck out 19. McKenna Jones drove in two of the Sabres’ runs.
South Mecklenburg is now 5-0 in conference play, while Myers Park dropped to 2-1.
South Rowan 20, Concord 0: Lexie Ritchie’s no-hitter lifted the Raiders to a South Piedmont 3A victory.
Stuart Cramer 15, Hunter Huss 0: Freshman Taylor Martin drove in five runs, and Ashlyn Lee homered and had four RBI, as the Storm cruised to a Big South 3A victory.
West Lincoln 12, East Burke 7
West Rowan 19, Lake Norman Charter 3: Madison Scercy drove in two runs for the Knights in their South Piedmont 3A setback.
Arborbrook Christian 9, Lee Park Prep 2: Ruth Carey, Lydia Myers, Lila Jones and Naomi Quaranta each scored twice for Arborbrook.
Charlotte Country Day 3, High Point Wesleyan 2 (OT): A second-overtime goal lifted Country Day to victory.
Davidson Day 2, Gaston Christian 1
East Mecklenburg 6, West Cabarrus 0
Forestview 4, Kings Mountain 0: The Jaguars improved to 3-0 in Big South 3A play.
Hickory 2, North Iredell 0
Hickory Grove Christian 6, Concord Academy 1: The Lions built a 5-0 halftime lead and coasted.
Lake Norman Charter 6, West Rowan 0
Mountain Island Charter 5, South Caldwell 0: The Raptors went on the road and blanked the Spartans, as goalkeeper Lydia Robinson made six saves and Jaida McGrew scored four goals.
Palisades 9, Harding 0: Ayre Cupid scored four goals and Kim Rudea had three for Palisades in the win. Lily Zavarella and Naomi Middlebrooks also had goals.
Providence Day 7, Bishop England (SC) 0: K.K. Hart (three goals, one assist) lifted the Chargers to a lopsided victory over their Charleston foes.
St. Stephens 4, North Lincoln 0
South Point 4, Crest 0: Lexi Birtwistle’s two goals and an assist led South Point to a Big South 3A victory.
South Rowan 4, Concord 1: This South Piedmont 3A match was tied 1-1 at halftime.
West Iredell 4, Statesville 0
Cannon School 14, Roswell (GA) Centennial 7: Cannon improved to 5-0.
Charlotte Country Day 13, Durham Academy 12 (OT)
Charlotte Latin 16, Savannahy Christian 6
Christ the King 16, Mountain Island Charter 1: Luke Fenderson scored nine goals, and Ben Habel had seven assists and seven ground balls for the Crusaders. Fenderson and Habel each reached the 100-goal mark in their high school careers.
Cuthbertson 11, Porter Ridge 9
Marvin Ridge 19, Parkwood 1: Maxwell Sansone’s three goals and four assists led the Mavericks.
Mooresville 16, St. Stephens 6
North Lincoln 22, Lincoln Charter 16
Northern Guilford 11, Lake Norman Charter 10
Northwest Guilford 12, Ardrey Kell 11: Ardrey Kell led 11-9 entering the fourth quarter.
Providence Day 21, Myers Park 12: Eric Mendenhall scored six goals for Myers Park.
South Iredell 19, Hough 1: The Vikings scored a surprising upset over a Hough team that entered the game with an 8-0 record and the state’s No. 1 ranking.
Weddington 20, Sun Valley 0
Cuthbertson 23, Porter Ridge 4
East Chapel Hill 10, Charlotte Country Day 9
Fayetteville Academy 21, Davidson Day 9
Lake Norman 17, Cannon School 6
Lake Norman Charter 13, Mooresville 12: Lake Norman senior co-captain Gaby Bernado had four goals and sophomore Ava Purser had three in a close win. Junior goalie Aubrey Hamm had 10 saves.
Milton (GA) Cambridge 17, Myers Park 3: Cambridge, ranked 29th nationally, handed Myers Park its first loss in nine games.
Philip Simmons (SC) 14, South Mecklenburg 12
Durham Academy 8, Charlotte Country Day 1: The Buccaneers’ Jack Schumann and Jonathan Randolph won their doubles match, averting a shutout loss.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle