Hopewell’s Titans stop Hough to capture Queen City conference baseball championship

Hopewell baseball coach Shawn McGeorge says that his senior pitcher Cooper Tymko is “unflappable.”

After allowing two runs in the top of the first Friday night against rival Hough, Tymko proved to be just that as he allowed just one hit in 5 1/3 innings to help the host Titans beat Hough, 6-3, and win the Queen City 3A/4A title outright.

Hough put their first two batters on base and plated two in the top of the first to take an early lead.

But Hopewell answered immediately against Hough starter and Vanderbilt recruit Tyler Baird. The Titans plated three of five hits in the bottom half of the inning and took a 3-2 lead on a Chase Soesbee single.

From there Tymko took over. The left-hander didn’t allow a hit after the first inning and walked just two to keep Hough from making a comeback.

Hopewell added to its advantage in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three more times, highlighted by Soesbee’s two-out, two-run single to left field.

Hough battled and closed to 6-3 in the seventh on a Jaxon Matthews RBI single that brought the tying run to the plate. But Hopewell’s Tyler Howe, a UNC recruit, was able to get a ground ball from UNC Asheville signee Jake Minarik to close the game.

They said it: “The start wasn’t exactly what we hoped for but this team doesn’t flinch,” McGeorge said. “Getting those three runs of Baird who is so strong was big for us, then Cooper (Tymko) showed why we have so much faith in him. He was just a rock on the mound.”

Records: Hopewell finishes the regular season 18-6 and a perfect 14-0 in Queen City 3A/4A conference play while Hough drops to 16-7 and 12-2.

Three who made a difference

Cooper Tymko (Hopewell): The Mars Hill signee went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on just one hit and struck out six Hough batters to get the win.

Chase Soesbee (Hopewell): The Belmont Abbey signee went 2-for-3 with three RBI at the plate with a two-RBI single in the fourth inning that gave Hopewell a 6-2 lead.

Jaxon Matthews (Hough): Matthews had both Hough hits, including an RBI single in the top of the seventh that cut Hopewell’s lead to 6-3 and brought the potential tying run to the plate.

What’s next?

Both teams will play Monday in the conference tournament. Hopewell is the top seed and Hough is second.


Hopewell was able to get production from its whole team, as every batter in the lineup reached base and the team’s six runs were scored by six different players.

Baird took the loss for Hough but showed why he’s so highly touted, as he struck out seven Hopewell batters in four innings.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

Hough 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2 3

Providence 3 0 0 3 0 0 x 6 9 3

PHOTOS: Hopewell vs. Hough baseball Friday