The final game of the 2021 season ended in jubilation for the Wayne Country Day baseball team.
After winning game one, 12-0 Friday, the top-seeded Chargers rolled to a 15-1 victory over The Burlington School in game two Saturday to clinch their NCISAA 2-A baseball state championship.
It’s Wayne Country Day’s first baseball state title in 14 years when they won the 1-A championship over Lawrence Academy. Last season, the Chargers started 4-0 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled their season. For head coach Adam Pate and company, this weekend was the culmination of a torrid regular season and dominant postseason run.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m proud of the kids for getting the job done and I’m really happy for the program. We’re a talented team across the board, but our team chemistry is what got us this championship.”
Chargers starting pitcher and NC State signee Garrett Moffett giving up only one hit. Meanwhile, the Spartans kept pace early thanks to their starter, Wagner Morrissette, who got off to an excellent start allowing no hits over the first three innings.
That all changed when leadoff hitter Everett Johnson laced a double to right-center field to start the top of the fourth inning. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, the Chargers were able to get on the board. A throw on a pick-off attempt went awry allowing for the eighth grader to advance home.
“I just wanted to put together quality at-bats and get on base,” he said. “It’s great to be a big part of a team like this and make an impact.”
Then, the floodgates opened in a major way. Another wild pitch scored Gavin Johnson to double the advantage for Wayne Country Day. The Chargers also drew five bases-loaded walks and brought in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Capped off by an RBI single from Moffett, the game went from scoreless to 9-0 Chargers in the blink of an eye. Guyler Netchaeff, who had a pair of hits in game two, laced another run-scoring single to make it another double-figure offensive output.
However, a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth by Spartans catcher Zack Cimino ended the shutout for the Chargers. It was the only run Wayne Country Day allowed in the postseason.
The Charger seniors would respond in their final plate appearances. UNCG signee Rowan Watt brought in a pair of runs with a double and got the final three outs to clinch the championship.
“It’s a moment you always dream of accomplishing,” he said. “It’s awesome for myself and the team to reach the ultimate goal we set at the beginning of the season. We’re a tight-knit family and it showed each time we stepped on the field.”
Then, Moffett capped off his high school career with a three-run blast to right field. The future Wolfpack pitcher had three home runs in the state title series and collected four hits in the title clincher. In the win on the mound, he threw six innings, gave up two hits, and struck out nine Spartan batters.
“I just left it all out there,” he said. “I figured that it’s the last two games of the season on our home field, so I had to come out and play as hard as I could. My teammates had my back all season long and we really gelled throughout this season.”
The Chargers graduate Moffett, Watt, and Tanner Willman among others, but return an excellent group for the 2022 campaign. That includes Everett Johnson, who batted over .600 as an eighth grader, and Gavin Johnson, a UNCW commit who played an important role throughout the season in many areas.
They also return Braeden Collins, the sophomore pitcher who set the tone in game one. He allowed one hit in five innings in their mercy rule win Friday.
“I was comfortable on the mound,” he said. “I know I had a great defense to back me up and an offense that can create runs at anytime. It’s great to win this championship with friends that I’ve grown up with and known for a long time.
Wayne Country Day finishes their season with a 19-1 record including wins over NCISAA 4-A runner up Wesleyan Christian Academy and now-four time defending 1-A champion Kerr-Vance Academy. Their lone loss of the season came to NCISAA 4-A state champion Charlotte Christian.
The Chargers outscored their opponents, 69-1 in the playoffs over five games and only gave up 28 runs in 20 games.
“I’m going to miss the seniors,” coach Pate added. “They’ve meant a lot to this program and are a big reason why we won today. I’m excited about this championship and the direction our program is heading in going into next season.”