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Cheraw scores pair in 5th to top NC, 2-0
NC SENIOR GRAYSON KING struck out 13 Cheraw batters in the Knights first round playoff loss on Thursday night in Boonetown. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
Even the best tightrope walkers stub their toe every now and then.Grayson King and North Central performed a high-wire act, getting out of bases-loaded jams in the first and fourth innings in Thursday’s AA District 4 playoff game with visiting Cheraw. But the third time, the rope wiggled.Scoring twice in the top of the fifth was all that the visiting Braves needed to send the Knights into Saturday’s elimination game against Region 3-AA colleague Keenan with a 2-0 win in Boonetown.As the final score indicates, offense was at a premium on this night as the hosts managed just three hits off CHS starter Kaleb Leviner, who worked 6.2 innings before Winston Martin retired the only better he faced; with the bases jammed in the bottom of the seventh. Two of NC’s hits were singles off the bat of cleanup hitter J.P. Faulkenberry while King’s two-out single in the first accounted for the other third of the hosts’ offense.On the mound, King got better as the night went along, striking out the side in both the sixth and seventh innings to give him 13 punch outs on an evening in which he scattered six singles, four of those coming in the fateful fifth frame.“We couldn’t get the top of the order going tonight,” NC head coach Robbie Cash said of his team’s inability to get anything from his first two batters in the order.