Manteo High and Cape Hatteras Secondary play the last 2021 baseball game
Published 10:57 am Wednesday, June 16, 2021
In the last game of the baseball season, Manteo High defeated Cape Hatteras Secondary 25-0 in Buxton on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
For three Manteo seniors and four Cape Hatteras seniors, it was also the last game of their high school baseball careers.
The first three innings shaped up as competitive baseball. Manteo scored one run in the first and three in the second for a 4-0 lead.
Manteo junior Trey Pearce pitched three scoreless innings and posted three strikeouts. In the field, Manteo executed a double play in the first and a run-down between second and first in the second inning.
Ayden Paddock was the starting pitcher for Cape Hatteras and together with catcher Al Hodges tagged Manteo’s Caleb Bliven at home plate in the first inning. For three innings, Paddock faced 17 batters and struck out one.
Manteo blew the game open in the top of the fourth. Bases stayed full for most of the inning. The first 10 batters scored runs. Cape Hatteras coach Keith Durham selected Brayan Garcia Caldera to face Manteo. Garcia struck out two, but another seven runs crossed the plate.
Maddox Cromwell pitched two-thirds of the fifth inning for Cape Hatteras.
For Manteo, Cal Dixon pitched the last two innings for Manteo. His sidearm pitching earned two strikeouts in the fourth. Cape Hatteras left two runners on base in the fifth.
Before the game, four Cape Hatteras seniors were thanked for their participation in the school’s baseball program. Catcher Al Hodges III played baseball for four years. Brayan Garcia Caldera played Cape Hatteras baseball for three years, including going to the state playoffs in 2019. Chaz Mackenzie was the designated hitter in the Manteo game. He played Cape Hatteras baseball in his senior year. Kaleb Spake, who played two years, played left field for the Hurricanes in the Manteo game.
For Manteo, three seniors played their last game on Thursday. Seniors playing for Manteo were Andy Woodson, Owen Clark and Caleb Bliven.
After the baseball game and a special ceremony for departing seniors, the team and parents gathered in the Cape Hatteras cafeteria for pizza and cupcakes and team awards.
Each Cape Hatteras baseball senior received a small wooden bat with name and number, a baseball from the last game, a keychain made from baseballs from the team’s 5-4 win against Columbia and a canning jar with part of a baseball and infield dirt, a reminder of the special part that Cape Hatteras baseball played in the seniors’ lives.
Awards were presented as follows:
Most Valuable Player: Ayden Paddock, the “most consistent guy in every spot,” said Durham.
Most Improved Player in overall game: Maddox Cromwell.
Batting Champion: Ayden Paddock, who led the team with the highest batting average and highest slugging percentage.
Golden Glove Award for defensive play: Cody Denton, who had the highest fielding percentage of all players.
Coach’s Award: Al Hodges, who became the coach on the field for Cape Hatteras.