First Posted: 5/20/2011
ROWLAND — South Robeson baseball coach Bryan McDonald admits he doesn’t have a great deal of information on his team’s opponent tonight, but what he has is frightening.
Midway has a .386 team average with six starters hitting at least .368, including four over the .400 mark. The Raiders are averaging 10.5 runs per contest.
“They play in the same conference as Lakewood and we have two common opponents, Lakewood and Pender,” McDonald said. “From what I have seen, they have scored a lot of runs. They are more of a team-oriented offense. They don’t have one guy that is .500 and the rest just contribute. They hit the ball from the top to the bottom of their order.”
The Tri-County’s top seed is also as lethal on the mound as it is at the plate. Midway has a team ERA of 0.92 and has recorded 228 strikeouts in 144 and 1/3 innings.
“They are a little different than most teams at this level because it looks like they have a two-man rotation,” McDonald said. “Dixon had one dominant pitcher that threw like 94. They don’t have that.”
McDonald is counting on his first three hitters to lead the charge against the Raiders’ pitching corps. He believes Jordan Campbell, Casey Chavis and Tim Carter matchup well with any pitchers the Mustangs will face from here on out.
“We go as those three guys go,” McDonald said. “When those three guys are swinging it well, we are tough to beat. Anything we get below them is an added plus.”
Through the first two games of the playoffs, McDonald has relied on the right arm of Carter on the mound. The sophomore has come through for the Mustangs with back-to-back complete game victories over Pender and Dixon. Carter had 10 strikeouts against the Patroits in the tournament opener, before backing it up with seven more against the Bulldogs.
“It was an easy decision to come back with Carter on four days rest,” McDonald said of bringing back his ace to pitch. “But this will only be three days. It will either be Carter or Casey. We will mull it over on the bus ride there and it will probably be a game-time decision.”
Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at (910) 272-6111 or [email protected]