SANFORD, N.C. (WNCT) — The drive for eight is looking pretty great.

J.H. Rose High School’s baseball team wrapped up another regional title with a 7-0 victory at Southern Lee on Thursday in the Class 3-A East Regional series. Next stop for the Rampants (26-3), winners of 13 straight, is a trip to the state finals next weekend.

(Garrett Short, WNCT photo)

Rose is trying to win its eighth state title (1975, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2021) and extend head coach Ronald Vincent’s list of accomplishments, which includes his 1,000th career win on April 12.

Rose struck early and often, scoring twice in the first inning before tacking on single runs in the second and third innings for a 4-0 lead. The Rampants blew it open with a three-run seventh.

(Garrett Short, WNCT photo)

The Rampants won Game 1 of the best-of-3 series on Tuesday against Southern Lee in dramatic fashion. They scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 5-4 win at Guy Smith Stadium.

Rose will face either Oak Grove or West Henderson, the two West Regional finalists, in the state final. Oak Grove won Game 1 of the West Regional final on Tuesday, 5-2 but West Henderson came back for a 2-1 win Thursday. Those two teams will play a deciding third game Saturday at West Henderson.

Click here to get tickets and other information about the baseball regionals and state finals. The state finals will be held at Ting Stadium in Holly Springs and Burlington Athletic Stadium in Burlington. Which teams play where and when will be decided after the regional finals.

Class 3-A East: (6) Southern Lee vs. (1) J.H. Rose

  • Game 1: Tuesday: J.H. Rose 5, Southern Lee 4, 8 innings
  • Game 2: Thursday: J.H. Rose 7, Southern Lee 0


North Duplin bounced back from its loss Tuesday to take a 12-3 win over East Columbus on the road Thursday in Game 2 of the Class 1-A East Regional. That means a deciding third game will be played Friday at 6 p.m. at North Duplin. The winner advances to the 1-A state title series, which will be played next weekend.

North Duplin (22-3) saw its 11-game win streak end at home on Tuesday against East Columbus in a 9-5 loss. East Columbus (27-3) had won nine straight before Thursday’s loss.

North Duplin trailed 1-0 after the first inning but got three runs in both the fourth and sixth before blowing it open with six runs in the seventh.

The winner of the East Regional plays West Regional champion Union Academy, which won twice over South Stokes to wrap up its state title berth.

Class 1-A East: (10) East Columbus vs. (4) North Duplin

  • Game 1: Tuesday: East Columbus 9, North Duplin 5
  • Game 2: Thursday: North Duplin 12, East Columbus 3
  • Game 3: Friday at 6 at North Duplin

Click here to get tickets and other information about the softball regional finals. The state finals are June 2-3 at N.C. State, Duke and UNC Greensboro.

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