The New Hanover Wildcats of Wilmington, North Carolina have swept the Marvin Ridge Mavericks, winning the first two games of what was a potential three game series to win their second consecutive NCHSAA 3A Baseball State Title.
Alex Sniffen of New Hanover was awarded Most Valuable Player after a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts in game two and a video board shattering home run in game one that scored the first run of the series.
Following the home run by Sniffen and two outs, Alec Cortner doubled to left field, bringing in a pair of runs that left the Wildcats with a 3-0 lead. The Mavericks looked poised to take the lead in the third inning with bases loaded and no outs, but a sacrifice fly by Steven Gonzalez, bringing Michael Neal around to the plate, would be their only run of the inning.
The beginning of the sixth inning saw the game tied 3-3, but this inning would prove to be devastating for the Mavericks as the Wildcats quickly rang up four runs that made the final score 7-3
Game two of the series saw much of the same defensive trend. Both teams remained scoreless for three innings until Chase Nixon drove in Kyle Smith to earn New Hanover’s first run of the night. No further runs were to be scored in the defensive war that waged on until the top of the seventh inning in which the Wildcats scored three decisive runs. Blake Walston hit a deep ball to center field that brought Alec Cortner around to make the score 2-0. The next pitch saw Kyle Smith to a two-run home run that would make the final score 4-0.
The New Hanover Wildcats end their season with a record of 28-2. After this, their school’s fourth state championship, the Wildcats hold a rank of 23 in the USA. The Marvin Ridge Mavericks end their season 24-8.