South Central baseball breaks NCHSAA record with three grand slams in a single game; takes 1-0 3A East lead on Terry Sanford

South Central baseball breaks NCHSAA record with three grand slams in a single game; takes 1-0 3A East lead on Terry Sanford

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — An older Terry Sanford fan leaned over with a question, “How many do they have, two?” His friend corrected him: South Central had three — as in three grand slams in a single game.

“I’ve never seen that before.”

No one has, at least not in this state.

In Game 1 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A East regional best-of-three series — of all places — South Central found its own place in the NCHSAA record book as the first team in the 100-plus year history of the NCHSAA to hit three grand slams in a single game.

According to the National Federation of High Schools record book, this is only the fifth occurrence nationally, having also happened in 1983 in California, 1997 in Wisconsin, 2002 in New Jersey, and 2011 in Georgia.

Needless to say, the Falcons won handily on Tuesday night.

A 17-1 final in six innings puts them up 1-0 in the series as it heads home to Winterville on Thursday. Perhaps that’s the craziest thing about the nearly three-hour-long game — a record that might not ever be broken and may not be tied for generations is ultimately the runner-up in what’s important on the night.

Yet you can’t tell the story of the win without the record. Those grand slams are also the very thing that put South Central (23-4) a win away from the state championship series.

The grand slams came in different innings off different pitchers and by different batters, but all three had one common trait: they were all with nobody out.

Christian Chance, batting cleanup and taking the mound as the starting pitcher, was up first with the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the first. His moon shot just cleared the 310 sign on the right-field wall — to make it 4-0.

The next inning, Mason Hobbs stepped up with the bases loaded and nobody out. The Bulldogs had made a pitching change that inning — the first of five. Hobbs pulled it over the left-field wall to make it 8-0.

At that point, South Central became one of 17 teams in NCHSAA recorded history to hit two grand slams in an inning.

That 8-0 score held until the fifth, when South Central once again had the bases loaded with no one out. The next batter was awarded first on a hit-by-pitch to make it 9-0. Then Tyce Thompson, a freshman, crushed a no-doubter over right-center to not only make it 13-0, but also etch the Falcons’ name in the national and state record books.

Four more runs came in after that, including a chance for Brooks and Thompson to potentially get their second individual grand slams of the game, but neither could make it four.

Terry Sanford (26-6) was held to just four hits on the evening. Ace Josh Hart will likely get the Game 2 start.

The Bulldogs’ only run came from senior Skylar Young, a UNC softball recruit playing for Terry Sanford in part because the school couldn’t field a team this year. Young laced a first-pitch single into the outfield wall despite the radar gun showing 87 miles per hour.

Josh Mozingo was the only Terry Sanford player with two hits.