The McDowell Titans’ run in the State 4A Playoffs ended quickly this year.
The Titans, who made a dramatic run into the third round last year, fell 9-0 to Porter Ridge in the first round Tuesday in Indian Trail. McDowell, the tourney’s 21 seed, finishes the season 13-10. One of the Titans' playoff wins last season came against Porter Ridge.
The twelfth-seeded Pirates (17-6) advance to the second round against No. 28 Ragsdale, who upset fifth seed Alexander Central in the first round.
The Titans never got anything going against Porter Ridge pitcher A.J. Camp. Camp worked six innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two. Jack Papiernik pitched the seventh, giving up a couple of hits and striking out one.
Two of the Titans’ hits came in order to start the seventh. Ty Smith and Eli Elliott both singled, but Papiernik retired the next two batters on fielder’s choice plays, and then got a strikeout to end the game.
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Braden Beck’s leadoff single in the top of the fifth was the only other McDowell hit.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first, added two runs in the third, and then put the game away with a five-run sixth.
Three Porter Ridge players had multi-hit games. Nick Morris went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs. Jaylen Brown was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and leadoff hitter Caleb Gant went 2-for-5.
Morris’s three-run hit was the highlight of the big sixth inning.
Hunter Byerly took the loss, working three innings and giving up four runs on four hits. He struck out four, walked three, and hit a batter.
Ty Smith (2.1 IP, 6H, 5R, 2L, BB) and Logan Duncan (.2 IP) also pitched for McDowell.