West Meck baseball starts hot

by Chris Hunt and Aaron Garcia

Under coach Make Carpino, the West Mecklenburg baseball team has made a habit of playing some of the county’s top teams early in the season to help prepare for its MEGA 7 3A/4A conference slate, and usually the Hawks have taken their lumps as a result.

Still, it’s effective. Last year the Hawks started 0-6 but rebounded to take second in the conference and reach the second round of the state playoffs.

This season, though, the Hawks jumped to a 3-0 record, including an 8-6 win over Hopewell to start the season, followed by an 11-0 win over West Charlotte and a 5-4 win over South Mecklenburg.

Carpino said his team hadn’t beaten Hopewell in the regular season in at least “seven or eight years” and added that beating South Meck “gave us a little more vindication that we’re heading in the right direction.”

The Hawks came back down to earth with losses to Southwestern 4A conference stalwarts Ardrey Kell and East Mecklenburg, giving the Hawks a 3-2 record heading into their March 14 game against Mallard Creek. But Carpino said the strong start has provided momentum.

“(Our players) definitely feel we’ve got the ability,” said Carpino. “Now we know going into the game it’s not just about being competitive anymore, it’s knowing we can be competitive and win.”

On the mound, Dalton Shaw has led the way with a 2-0 record. Carpino said the Hawks are hitting around .350 as a team, led by senior Steven Ryle’s .416 average. But Shaw (.351), Matt Davenport (.351) and Nick McGee aren’t far behind (.300).

An important game for the Hawks is the April 8 matchup against Charlotte Catholic. The Hawks will be hosting their Strike Out Cancer event, which will benefit members of the West Meck baseball family afflicted with the disease.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply