By VAN HOLLAND
The 20th Annual Tarboro Easter Classic kicks off today at 11 a.m. with four games slated to take place at historical Municipal Stadium.
The first game of the day will be between defending champion, the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers from Virginia and the Lawrence Academy Warriors who are from Merry Hill.
Both teams have pitchers who have already signed to play college baseball. The Cavaliers have a crafty lefty JR Breeden who has committed to play for Liberty University. The Warriors have two pitchers who have already committed to play college ball. Right hander Darren Armstrong has committed to play at UNC Pembroke and lefty Dallas Belch is going to play for the College of Albemarle.
Both coaches haven't said if they are going to start their aces, but if they do then the first game of the day should be a dandy of a match up.
The second game will start around 1:30 p.m. and will be between the Timber Creek Chargers from New Jersey and the Bunn Wildcats from Bunn.
Bunn is making their second trip to the classic and they are coached by an Edgecombe County native, Leonard Allen. Allen played high school baseball for the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars. He won the classic twice while playing for the Cougars and knows what it takes to win it.
Timber Creek is coming into the classic not knowing what to expect, because this will be their first game of the season. They have high expectations, but don't know how things will turn out.
Following that game at 4 p.m. the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars from Pinetops will play the Jefferson Area Falcons from Ohio.
The Cougars have an all around good team, but have struggled at times this season. Errors and timely hitting have been two weaknesses for them this year. They went on a three game winning streak, but since has gone on a downward skid and hope to bounce back during the classic.
Jefferson Area is making their classic debut. They have a deep pitching staff that they will be able to rely on during the classic. They have been unable to get much practice or game time in due to the inclement weather up north. They are excited about coming south to get some field time in with some warm and dry weather.
The last game game of opening day will be between the host Tarboro Vikings and the St. Maria Goretti Gaels from Maryland.
The Vikings and Gaels have met in the first round game for the past four years. During that time, the Gaels have struggled during the classic and hope to break out this year.
The Vikings are coming off of a big win heading into the tournament and hope they have the momentum with them to make a good showing.