The Mathews High School varsity baseball team headed into the regional semifinals last night at William Campbell High, after posting slaughter-rule shortened victories in its first three playoff games, including capturing the first-ever Conference 42 championship.
With a win against William Campbell, Mathews will secure a spot in the state tournament, and advance to the regional championship game.
The Blue Devils, awarded a bye in the Conference 42 quarterfinals, went on to slaughter King and Queen for the third time this season and advance to the conference semis, where they would meet the Middlesex Chargers at home last Thursday night.
Will Harrington began that game on the mound for the Devils, who backed him with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Harrington tossed three one-run innings and struck out three batters. Brian Owens provided shutout relief for the following 1 1/3 innings while punching out two, before Colin Cook shut the door with 1 2/3 shutout innings of his own.
With the help of two runs in the third, three more in the fourth, and one in the sixth, the Devils would enforce the slaughter rule and win in six innings, 11-1.
As it was a big offensive night for Mathews, players who highlighted this offense were Brett Hogge, Harrington, Marshall Barrack and Austin Kemp, who each had one RBI. William Smith plated three RBIs of his own while notching two hits. With this win, the Blue Devils became Conference 42 champions. Following their championship, the red hot Blue Devils played host once again, this time for the Region 1A East Quarterfinals against Chincoteague High School. Similar to recent affairs, the Devils were the first to score, but it came after two innings.