UCA rides Hunter’s pitching, defense to Game 1 win in state finals

Uwharrie Charter Academy first baseman Ben Medinger tags out North Moore’s Elliot Furr as part of a pick-off play during Game 1 of the Class 1-A state finals Friday. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

HOLLY SPRINGS – Freshman Jake Hunter threw a complete game as Uwharrie Charter Academy defeated North Moore 2-1 in the opening game of the Class 1-A state championship series Friday at Ting Stadium.

Game 2 in the best-of-3 competition is at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a third game, if necessary, at 5 p.m.

“Game 1 is really big,” Hunter said. “It’s hard to win two games in a row against the same team, so we just came out here and played baseball and won Game 1, and hopefully we can win one (Saturday).”

Pitching and defense did the job for UCA in the series opener.

“That’s kind of what we’ve done throughout the playoffs,” Eagles coach Rob Shore said.

North Moore (22-9) scored in the top of the third inning. UCA (21-10) answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Troy Carver and Ben Medinger drove in runs for the Eagles.

North Moore pitcher Ethan Dunlap threw a five-hitter and impressed Shore.

“He gave up two runs and our guy gave up one, and that was (good) enough for today,” Shore said.

UCA’s Jake Hunter throws a pitch against North Moore in Game 1 of the Class 1-A state finals.                (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

Hunter allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out four. He was supported by solid defense.

“I didn’t really know I was pitching Game 1 until about two days ago,” Hunter said. “I thought I was pitching Game 2.”