Revised on: 06.25.2016 at 08:41 a.m.
Posted on: 06.13.2016 at 12:00 p.m.
With a 12-1 season record that included 174 strikeouts, Whiteville High School junior lefthander Mackenzie Gore had another stunning mound season for the Wolfpack.
Even though a third straight state 1A championship eluded the Wolfpack this season as it bowed to a determined Cherryville team in the finals at Zebulon, it was still another outstanding mound season for Gore, who committed last year to play for East Carolina.
He did not allow an earned run until the state championship series. He pitched a no-hitter and two one-hitters. He served as the Wolfpack’s lead-off hitter and led the team in stolen bases. He also played right field when he wasn’t pitching as the Wolfpack recorded a 26-5 record and won an Eastern N.C. Regional championship title for the fourth time in five seasons.
“Mackenzie has a lot of confidence and maturity,” said WHS head coach Brett Harwood. “He works very hard… and that has paid off for him. We all feel that he has a bright future in baseball.”
Gore, who was named Most Oustanding Player of both the 2014 and 2015 state title-clinching state championship series events, has been named to The News Reporter All-Columbus County Baseball Team for the third consecutive year as well as the 2016 Columbus County Baseball Player of the Year.
This year’s All-Columbus County squad also includes Whiteville senior first baseman and UNC-Pembroke commit Connor Grainger, Whiteville senior infielder/outfielder Hunter Cartrette and West Columbus pitcher/first baseman and East Carolina commit Trey Benton, who have both been named to the all-county team for the fourth straight year.
Along with Gore, players getting selected All-Columbus for the third straight year are East Columbus pitcher/infielders Chase Lewis and Cade Andrews.
Getting named to the team for the second straight year are South Columbus outfielder Hunter Shelley and pitcher Garrett Wilson and West Columbus infielder Gage Hammonds.
Getting named for the first time are Whiteville shortstop Taylor Smith, outfielder Grayson Ward, pitcher/catcher/infielder Brooks Baldwin, pitcher/infielder Dylan Lawson; South Columbus outfielders Robby Spencer and Jay Wright, and pitcher Evan Pickell; West Columbus infielder Marvin Edge and outfielders Ozzly Johnson and Dawson Elliott.
Whiteville coach Brett Harwood, who has guided the Wolfpack to the state finals four times in the last five seasons and has a 12-year record of 245 wins and 78 losses at the Wolfpack helm, has received the Columbus County Coach of the Year honor for the fifth straight season. Harwood gives all the credit to his players, his assistant coaches and the community-wide support the Wolfpack baseball team receives.
“We came up a little short of achieving the goal that we hoped to attain again this year, but I couldn’t be prouder of this year’s team and the backing we have received.”