Rebels are third-round bound

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CALYPSO - “Get one, we’re three away!”

Kyle Smith shouted that to his North Duplin teammates as he entered the dugout Thursday evening.

The Rebels got seven, instead.

Hunt Pate ignited the uprising with a bases-loaded, RBI single and North Duplin zipped past Falls Lake Academy, 11-6, in round two of the NC High School Athletic Association 1A baseball playoffs.

“The motto for the last couple of weeks has been ‘job’s not done’ [and] tonight doesn’t change that,” said ND head coach Colton Chrisman. “We’re going to enjoy this one and get back to work.”

The sixth-seeded Rebels (18-3 overall) put their 11-game win streak on the line next Tuesday at third-seeded Bear Grass Charter. It’s a rematch of their first-round playoff encounter last year, a 2-1 Bears win.

Tied at 4-4 through 5 1/2 innings, Tanner Kornegay drew a lead-off walk to start the sixth. After a brief conversation with Chrisman near the third-base line, Gavin Lee executed a perfect bunt single.

Landen Kelly walked to load the sacks for Pate, who drilled his third hit of the night into left field. Smith (RBI), Austin Duff (three RBI) and Wesley Holmes (RBI) all got into the hitting act as North Duplin sent 12 batters to the plate.

Super Six co-champion Falls Lake (15-4) surrendered three runs on two bases-loaded walks and a passed ball.

North Duplin cranked out 12 hits during the rain-soaked affair. 

Duff joined Pate in the three-hit club. Winning pitcher Erik Rosas batted 2-for-3 with an RBI. Smith, Holmes, Lee and Tanner Kornegay each finished with one hit.

Rosas worked 6.1 innings and gave up six runs (none earned) on five hits and three walks. The right-hander retired 10 Firebirds on strikeouts.

Tyler Johnsey logged the final two outs, which propelled the Rebels into the third round for the first time since 2015.

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