KVA baseball makes return to State Championship

May 15—HENDERSON — On Monday, the Kerr-Vance Academy Spartans beat the Halifax Academy Vikings 11-3 in the state semifinals to advance to the 1A NCISAA State Championship for the fifth time in seven years.

"It feels good, we kind of expected it," said head coach Mike Rigsbee. "Getting to the championship is our priority, and they're excited — as they should be."

The playoff win was a sweet revenge dish for the Spartans, who were knocked out of contention in last year's semifinals by the Vikings. This year, they handled business and turned it on to secure an eight-run victory.

Kerr-Vance is set to play Lawrence Academy on Friday night and Saturday in a three-game championship series at Bauer Field at NC Wesleyan University in Rocky Mount.

In the semifinals, the Spartans rode the back of their senior pitcher Tim Hudson, who was excellent from the mound against the Vikings. Hudson tossed 12 strikeouts and only gave up four hits and three runs through seven innings pitched.

"He was a standout pitcher," said Rigsbee. "He was lights out."

The game was tight in the first few innings, and KVA only had a one-run lead after three. But the performance of Hudson allowed the Spartan offense to pull ahead in the latter innings. The senior contributed with two hits of his own — going a perfect 2-2 with three walks in his five at-bats.

As one of the sole seniors on this team full of youngsters, the rest of the squad will look toward the right-handed Hudson and bank on his experience heading into the weekend.

The first championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Rocky Mount, and the second game will be in the same location on Saturday at noon — a third game, if necessary, will take place right after.