By VAN HOLLAND
The Tarboro 12-under All-Star team is ready for whatever challenge awaits them in the state tournament. They have a positive attitude heading into the tournament after winning the District 7 title in Jamesville over a week ago.
Tarboro will take their 5-0 all-star tournament record to WIlliamston and try to continue their winning streak.
Tarboro is slated to play Johnston County at 7 p.m. in WIlliamston. The opening ceremonies for the state tournament will begin at 2 p.m. when each team is announced.
When Tarboro won the district tournament, it was the first time a Tarboro 12-under team had accomplished that feat in quite some time.
Tarboro coach Bill Howerin is pleased with the accomplishments his team has had thus far. He wants them to continue to play the same way in the state tournament. He knows they have their work cut out for them, because they will be playing against seven other top rated teams in the state.
Tarboro outscored their opponents 61-11 in the district tournament and hit 14 home runs to help them route each of their oppositions. Tarboro beat four of their opponents by the mercy rule and won the championship game by seven runs.
Tarboro's offense clicked on every cylinder possible. In each game, they had at least one inning where they scored at least six runs or more. They were able to over power their opponents with timely hitting and smart base running. In the second game of the tournament, they hit five home runs.
Tarboro also took advantage of their opponent's errors and turned them into runs.
Their defense had a few hick-ups in the field, but were able to over come them with some dominate pitching performances.
One of the top pitching performances in the district tournament came at the hands of Jesus Garcia.
The Tarboro right-hander threw a complete game in the championship game, giving up just one hit and one run. He struck out 12 and didn't allow but one base runner the entire six innings.
His performance came at the tail end of four other impressive performances in which he had his hand in as well.
Howerin used his top four pitchers, (Garcia, Mason Riley, Dillon Johnson and Justin Ramirez) sparingly during the tournament, because each pitcher is only allowed to throw 12 innings during the tournament. If a pitcher throws three innings or more in one game, they have to rest for a calendar day and can't pitch.
For Tarboro to be successful in the state tournament, they are going to have to play fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball. The pitching staff is going to have to cut down on their walks and the defense will have to play near perfect.
Howerin doesn't want to give his team's opponents any type of advantage or any kind of opportunity to score runs on mistakes.
Tarboro will be playing at Barnes Field at Kehukee Park. Take 64 East Bypass and take exit 512. At the top of the ramp turn right on Prison Camp Road. After making that right, then you take a left on Kehukee Park Road.