Southeast produces shocker, beats rival Southern in baseball

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Southeast Alamance put aside any frustrations from baseball results during past weeks, and the timing couldn’t have been much better.

The Stallions shocked visiting Southern Alamance 8-1 in Wednesday night’s non-conference game.

“We are not (supposed to beat them),” Southeast freshman pitcher Paxton Piccini said. “Quite a surprise. Nobody saw this coming.”

Piccini’s six innings of shutout pitching and timely hitting from the Stallions blindsided Southern, which had won three games in a row and has been putting together another notable season.

“You got Southern Alamance coming in here as a long-time power,” Southeast coach Adam Gunn said. “I can’t emphasize how big that is for us.”

For the Stallions, who play for a first-year school, beating their neighbors was quite a treat.

“They came in there fully expecting to beat us,” Southeast third baseman Ayden Brown said. “I never really thought we couldn’t (beat them). We jumped on them early.”

Brown, a member of the 2023 junior varsity team at Southern, said the Stallions (4-12) found the right mix to post their second victory in a more than a month’s span.

“Everybody came together,” he said, calling it the team’s best game so far. “This will be a good turnaround for the season.”

Much of the success began with defense. The Stallions turned a double play after Southern loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning.

“That’s the play of the game right there,” Gunn said.

Perhaps setting the tone for a convincing outcome.

“Nobody thought that,” Gunn said. “We’ve been waiting on that. We have been right there with chances to win multiple times throughout the year. I don’t think our record reflects how good we are.”

Southeast Alamance baseball coach Adam Gunn

Brown’s run-scoring double in the first began the scoring. Piccini drove in two runs with a double in Southeast’s fourth-run second. Aidan Amick and Jake Rasko had RBI singles in the third, which ended with the Stallions holding an 8-0 lead.

Rasko, the center fielder, made a diving catch in the fifth inning.

The Patriots (9-5) used three pitchers, beginning with Nathan McNeal.

“That’s baseball,” Southern coach Jason Smith said. “You have to show up every day. Got to come ready every day. They played great.”

For Southern, Eli Holland belted a two-out double in the third but that didn’t result in a rally. Janden Evans smacked a run-scoring, two-out double in the seventh.

For Southeast, it’s a matter of building on this. The first-year school has produced strong football and basketball seasons, and the baseball team wants to join the fun.

“We better get on a roll,” Gunn said.