Charlotte Catholic baseball struggles in Game 1 loss to TC Roberson in the mountains

Charlotte Catholic played in its first N.C. Western Regional championship game in 36 years Tuesday night.

It didn’t go so well.

Catholic pitchers hit three T.C. Roberson batters in the first two innings and walked multiple batters. Roberson took full advantage of the miscues, scoring seven runs in those two innings and eventually winning Game 1 in the best-of-3 4A series, 13-0.

The game was stopped after Catholic batted in the top of the fifth due to the 10-run rule.

Game 2 is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Jack Hughes Park in Pineville. Catholic, ranked No. 1 in The Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, is trying to reach its state final since it was a 2A school and lost to unbeaten South Brunswick in 1988.

To get back into this series and force a deciding Game 3 in Skyland, N.C., Saturday, the Cougars are simply going to have to settle down.

Despite only having one senior on the roster, Roberson (25-4) is the No. 2 ranked team in North Carolina by MaxPreps and the Rams won their 11th straight game Tuesday. They also showed a sellout crowd at home why they are averaging 8.3 runs per game. Roberson is the reigning 4A state champions and the Rams are trying to win their third state title since 2017.

Catholic (23-9), meanwhile, went through four pitchers in four innings and didn’t look like the team that had won seven games in a row, running through some of the best teams in the Charlotte-area in succession — and had completely turned the season around after a 4-4 start.

And it unraveled so quickly.

After Catholic didn’t do any damage in the first, Roberson scored twice in the second inning against Cougars’ pitcher Jack Hedrick, a Duke commit.

In the third, Roberson’s Zeb Swangrim and Jake Parham — who both singled in the first inning — got on base after being hit by pitches.

With runners on first and second, Caden Davidson nearly hit a home run to right field. The ball hit the wall as Davidson sprinted to second and Swangrim and Parham came home.

The next Rams’ batter, Western Carolina recruit Micah Simpson, smacked a home run and gave Roberson a 7-0 lead. Catholic replaced Hedrick with senior right hander Brody Roderick, but the drama was really sucked out of Game 1 by then.

Three who mattered

Caden Davidson, TC Roberson: Hit a two-run double to give his team a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second. In the fourth, Davidson hit a two-run single. He had four RBIs totals.

Micah Simpson, TC Roberson: Western Carolina recruit’s home run brought home teammate Davidson in the decisive second inning.

Sam Hucko, Charlotte Catholic: Hucko had a nice leadoff double in the top of the third.

Game summary

Catholic 000 00 — 0 4 2

Roberson 342 4 — 13 7 0

WP: Reno Jeter