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Baker’s bombs put ‘Birds in Big East final

Posted on May 5, 2022

SportsSchool Sports
Southern Nash’s Landen Baker steps into the batter’s box during a win over Nash Central.

Saylor Newton Photography

Southern Nash’s Landen Baker steps into the batter’s box during a win over Nash Central.

STANHOPE — Junior Landen Baker slugged a pair of home runs as his Southern Nash High varsity baseball team thumped Roanoke Rapids 11-4 in the semifinals of the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference tournament Wednesday on the Firebirds diamond.

Southern Nash, the No. 2 seed, will take a 16-5 mark into Friday’s championship game against top-seeded Northern Nash, a 12-0 victor over No. 4 Bunn on Wednesday.

The 3-A Firebirds broke open a 4-4 deadlock with seven runs in the sixth inning against the 2-A Yellow Jackets (11-8), who tied Southern Nash for second place in the regular season.

Baker finished with three RBIs and three runs scored as he moved into second place among NCHSAA hitters on MaxPreps.com with 12 homers. No other Firebird had more than one hit but Blake Strickland and A.J. High each drove in a pair of runs. High and Keegan Wallace each doubled.

Senior Greyson Curtis picked up the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief pitching. He didn’t give up a hit or walk anyone while striking out three. Strickland started and worked 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs — all unearned. Baker threw a perfect seventh.

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