So Sweet! Maroon Machine Will Host Sweet 16 Matchup VS Union Academy

Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

This Swain County baseball team is filled with some real DUDES, and these guys are working like a well oiled “Maroon Machine” right now.

Last night, a Will Jenkins single up the middle allowed the Maroon Devils to jump out to an early lead in their second round playoff matchup against South Stanly, and you could’ve closed the curtains after that. Swain was in control the whole way.

Swain County hurler Charlie Collins shut down the Rowdy Red Bulls, tossing 5.1 innings of 4 hit, 1 run, baseball while on his way to his 11th win of the season.

When you look at the Swain lineup, it’s easy to see why they’re in the position they are.

Charlie Collins has been “Charlie Workhorse” for the Maroon Devils all year, boasting an ERA that has hovered under 1.00 and striking out nearly 80 batters along the way.

Behind the plate, Carter Hayes has been huge. Hayes has an absolute cannon and always seems to come up big with his bat when you need him. The sophomores 33 RBI’s speak for themselves.

Gabe Lillard and Will Jenkins have anchored the corners of the Infield, flashing leather when they need to and combining for 58 hits on the year.

Sophomores Riley Winchester and Lawson Woodard have been Swain’s go-to combination of middle infielders this year and have filled their role perfectly.

Cameron Blankenship, Cooper Hyatt, and Carson Taylor are the “Devils” in the Outfield, and have a combined .800 fielding percentage.

The Maroon Devils stacked lineup will face their toughest test yet on Tuesday night when they host Union Academy. The #5 seeded Cardinals are ranked 5th in the West according to MaxPreps, while the #4 seeded Maroon Devils are ranked 8th. Union Academy defeated 6th ranked Christ The King on Thursday thanks to a walkoff hit from sophomore outfielder Nick Henry.

Union Academy Outlook

The pitching situation for Union Academy is hard to read. They don’t have one “star” on the mound from what can be seen looking at their roster. Garrett Brueke got the win (but not the start) in the Cardinals previous game vs Christ The King, only allowing 1 hit over the final 3.1 innings of the game.

Some guys to watch for when the Cardinals are at the plate are: Freshmen Beckett Gurian and Jeremiah Shine, and Seniors Seth Ballard and Ethan Diaz. Gurian leads the team in batting average (.446) and has been on fire since the playoffs started.

All-in-all, this should be a great matchup between two of the top teams in the state. Come on out to Bryson City on Tuesday and watch these guys duel.



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