GREENSBORO – It was a day after originally scheduled, but the Mooresville baseball team got a complete-game effort from starting pitcher Justin Poris to win Game 1 of the 4A state championship 5-2.
Poris, the Blue Devils’ ace right-hander, gave up two runs to Corinth Holders out of northern Johnston County in the first inning, but didn’t yield a run the rest of the game. He finished with 5 strikeouts in seven innings, giving up six Pirate hits.
Mooresville coach Jeff Burchett was impressed with the effectiveness of Poris' off-speed pitches. He routinely was able to pick up strikes from his curve ball.
“He can throw that any time, any count,” Burchett said. “And his change up was really working today. That’s a third pitch he’s got. When he’s got three pitches rolling, he’s tough to beat.”
The Blue Devils tied the game with two runs int he third inning then picked up three more in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of a pair of Corinth Holder errors.
The game was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon at the UNC-Greensboro baseball stadium, but thunderstorms pushed back the 4A game to Saturday morning as well as the 2A game which was slated to follow.
With Game 2 scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Burchett said that made winning the first of the three-game series pivotal.
“I understood totally to cancel and come back today,” he said. “It puts us in a situation where we really hadn't been all year. We don’t play double-headers during the season. that makes getting that fist one even a bigger deal.”
Mooresville, the 11 seed out of he West Region, improved to 23-9 after going undefeated in May. Corinth Holders, the East’s 3 seed, is 23-6.
Burchett said sophomore lefty Nick Merriman will start Game 2.