Central, Chatham Charter both averaging over 10 runs per game


Runs are considered a pitcher’s best friend. And if that’s the case, the pitchers on the Chatham Central baseball team must be the most popular guys in town.

Entering Tuesday night’s game against North Moore, the Bears were 6-2 and averaging 13.9 runs per game, the best mark in the county early on this season. Playing a double-header to open Mid-Carolina Conference play on March 14, Chatham Central outscored Cummings, 50-0, across two games.

The Bears scored nine runs or more in six of their first eight games. In the two where they scored eight or less, they were 0-2 thanks to a pair of one-run losses to Asheboro and East Surry, who entered the week with a combined 10-3 record.

Over its first eight games, Chatham Central had a team batting average of .401. Six Bears are batting at least .375 — junior Wesley Clewis (.522), senior Hasten Paige (.520), sophomore Zane Overman (.480), junior Logan Maness (.444), senior Travis Crissman (.440) and sophomore Matthew Murchison — and Murchison led all county players in triples (four) and RBI (18) entering the week.

On the mound, junior Anthony Lopassay threw the most innings for Central entering Tuesday night at 14.1. Before this week’s games, he had a 2-1 record with a 3.42 ERA and 20 strikeouts against five walks. And Overman, Clewis, Crissman and Maness had all thrown at least four innings.

The Bears hope this season will bring the first regular season conference title since 2019. Last spring, Central finished tied for second with Jordan-Matthews at 5-3 in league play before reaching the fourth round of the 1A state playoffs. 

The other two teams in the Mid-Carolina Conference — Seaforth and Jordan-Matthews — were a combined 3-7 overall and 0-2 in league play entering this week.

The Hawks (2-4, 0-1 Conf.) are in their second season as a program under head coach Landon Jones. Four Seaforth players with at least 10 late appearances are hitting at least .300 (sophomore Daniel White, junior Anders Johansson, junior Tanner Morgan, junior Dane O’Neill).

The Jets (1-3, 0-1 Conf.), meanwhile, have lost suffered all three of their losses by two runs or less. J-M is searching for its first full season above .500 under head coach John Headen since going 12-11 back in 2019.

The only undefeated baseball team in Chatham County is Chatham Charter, which improved to 5-0 on Monday thanks to a 6-4 win over Cornerstone Charter. The Knights  — who also played Wednesday (late score) — had won their first five games by an average of 11.4 runs per game.

Through its first five games, Chatham Charter’s top bat was sophomore Zach Cartrette, who was hitting .588 with 10 hits, two triples and nine RBI already this season. Fellow sophomore Luke Johnson was batting .500 with seven hits and six RBI, while junior Jonah Ridgill had a .438 average with seven hits and six RBI.

Cartrette is also the team’s top pitcher, boasting a 3-0 record with a 1.17 era and 17 strikeouts across his first 12 innings this season. Also contributing on the mound is junior Aidan Allred, who has a 1-0 record with a 1.17 ERA and 12 strikeouts against three walks.

Things haven’t gone as well this season for Northwood, which was 2-5 overall and 2-2 in Central 3A Conference play entering this week’s games.

The top Charger in terms of batting average through the team’s first seven games was senior Seth Davis, who was hitting .368 with seven hits and three RBI. Sophomore Kaleb Howell leads the team with RBI (4).

Northwood is pitching well as a team, boasting a 2.93 ERA across the first seven games. The Chargers have been hampered defensively by 27 errors, an average of over 3.5 per game.

Northwood is in its first season under head coach Kyle Robinson. The Chargers had a 44-39 the previous four seasons under David Miller.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.