Sharks cap big week with Mingo Bay championship

The St. James baseball team carried high expectations into the 2018 season. In this week’s Mingo Bay Classic, the Sharks lived up to them.

St. James blasted High Point Christian (NC) 10-2 in the Division I championship game of the Mingo Bay Classic on Saturday at Shark Park. The win capped an incredible week for the Sharks, who went 5-0 against some stiff competition in the 96-team tournament field.

“This is a big prize for us, so it was exciting to us pull together,” said St. James coach Robbie Centracchio, whose team went 5-0 and outscored Mingo Bay foes by a combined score of 39-7.

“We came into it saying, ‘Let’s make this week about getting better, getting closer. A lot of teams aren’t like that. They want to enjoy their spring break, and we’ve had teams before that didn’t buy in. But these guys bought in and I’m proud of them.

The Sharks were solid in all three phases, but nowhere stronger than on the mound. On Saturday, it was starter Cam White turning in 4 2/3 solid innings. He also provided plenty of run support, going 3 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Anthony Peck went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored. as the Sharks built a 6-0 lead after two frames.

White turned the ball over to closer Ethan Salak with the bases loaded and St. James holding a 6-1 lead in the fifth. Salak’s first pitch forced a deep fly out to center to end the threat, and he cruised through the final two innings to secure the trophy.

Cole Prosser was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, but the award truly could have gone to any number of Sharks.

“The best thing was we were able to use so many different arms that no one really got taxed,” Centracchio said. “We also had several guys get hot with the bats, and it was exciting to see guys doing the little things that don’t show up in the box line (score).”

The Sharks hope the momentum carries over into the home stretch of the region race and the fast-approaching state playoffs. They face Myrtle Beach on Tuesday in a showdown for first place in Region 7-4A.

Photo by Terry Massey

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