ZEBULON ‹ Senior righthander Ryne Poplin contributed with both his arm and his bat on Saturday to lead South Stanly to a 7-2 victory over Hampstead Topsail and a sweep of the best-of-three North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-A baseball championship series at Five County Stadium.
Poplin got the win on the mound to run his record to 9-1 on the year, striking out five, and also had a run-scoring single in the sixth. He entered the championship series batting a whopping .478.
Wes Hatley of South was named Most Valuable Player for the championship. The senior righthander had a route-going three-hit pitching performance in the Rowdy Rebel Bulls¹ 6-2 win in Friday night¹s opener and also had a hit in each game.
In the third, after a couple of Topsail errors, South catcher Matt Lisk delivered a two-RBI single to make it 5-0.
Topsail sliced the lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth with a single by Keith Gray driving home two, but the Bulls answered with a pair in their half of the frame.
The Rowdy Rebel Bulls finished at 25-5 on the year, winning their eighth straight game in the playoffs and capturing their first NCHSAA state baseball crown. Topsail, finishing as state runner-up for a second consecutive year, wound up 21-12 but had a great stretch run after posting a 7-8 record at midseason. It was the Pirates¹ eighth straight 20-win season.