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Baseball: Paladins finish strong
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Forsyth County News

Brad Nassaur made the most of one last chance to reach a career milestone.

The Pinecrest Academy senior laced a single to center in his final varsity at-bat on Friday, marking the 100th hit of his career and setting a school record, as Pinecrest won 7-6 over Pace Academy on the road and ended the season on a three-game winning streak.

Pinecrest (9-14, 5-11 Region 5N-A) entered the final week of the season with only two region wins, before defeating King’s Ridge 4-1 and St. Francist 10-2 ahead of the season finale.

Nassaur, who is committed to play baseball for Young Harris College next season, came into the season finale needing three hits to reach the milestone. He singled in the first inning and — following a two-run double by Adam Maresco — homered in the third, narrowing the Paladins’ deficit to 4-3.

Thanks to a great defensive play by Anthony Carco in the bottom of the third, Pinecrest turned an inning-ending double play, leaving two Pace Academy runners stranded. Carco relieved starting pitcher Erik Hegeman on the mound in the fourth and induced another tough double play with the help of Nassaur and Hegeman.

The defensive plays, which included a diving catch by third baseman Thomas Ross, kept the Paladins within reach. One inning later, Ross tied the game with a two-run home run.

The Paladins finally took the lead in the sixth, as Nassaur — who grounded out in his third at-bat — drove in a run with his milestone single, then scored on a passed ball. 

Pinecrest sophomore Garrett Kliphouse added another strong defensive play in the field to help Pinecrest hold on for the victory. Carco got the win in relief, allowing one run on two hits in four innings of work.

Jimmy Strom contributed two hits for the Paladins.

Pinecrest 10, St. Francis 2

The Paladins received a strong start on the mound Thursday from senior Steven Huffstetler, whose offense back him up with 12 hits and aggressive base running in a 10-2  win over St. Francis.   

Huffstetler, a senior making his final pitching appearance for Pinecrest, surrendered one run while striking out eight in his first complete game of the year.

Huffstetler seemed to get stronger as the game went on, recording six of his his strikeouts in the last three innings. He also helped himself at the plate with two hits, three RBI and a run scored. 

Hegeman, Strom and Josh Oshinski contributed two hits apiece, while Nassaur added a hit and two RBI.