Legion baseball: Mocksville 5, Rowan 0
By Mike London
MOCKSVILLE — If Ryan Foster had caught a flu bug or Connor Bodenhamer had overslept, Rowan County would’ve had a chance on Monday night.
Foster and Bodenhamer were healthy, awake and in uniform, however, and they kept first-place Mocksville rolling with a 5-0 win against Rowan at Rich Park.
Foster and Bodenhamer weren’t born the last time Mocksville (12-6, 9-2) won the Area III title in 1989, but maybe this is the year for coach Charles Kurfees’ team.
Foster fanned every Rowan hitter except Brian Bauk, piled up 15 strikeouts and went the distance. His pitch-count went over 100 in the eighth, but it would have taken a couple of cranes to drag him off the mound.
“It was Ryan’s night,” Kurfees said. “Anytime you can look out there and see a zero on the scoreboard after an American Legion game, somebody pitched great.”
Foster, a recent Davie graduate headed to UNC Wilmington, shared player of the game honors. Bodenhamer, who just finished his freshman year at Surry Community College, whacked a pair of two-run homers.
“They were a two-man wrecking crew,” summed up Rowan coach Jim Gantt. “It can be fun to watch guys who are that good, but tonight it was kinda hard to watch.”
It might’ve been worse. UNC Asheville signee Corey Randall, arguably Mocksville’s best guy, wasn’t even in town. He was handling college orientation.
Rowan mounted just one serious threat. It loaded the bases in the first, but Foster struck out Jared Mathis to end the inning.
Bauk was the only Rowan player with offensive success. He drew three walks, stole two bases and beat out an infield hit in the fifth.
Rowan’s only other hits were a liner off the bat of Mathis in the fourth and a single that Nathan Fulbright punched to right in the sixth.
Foster already had beaten Rowan (8-11, 6-6) at Newman Park, but he was much better the second time around.
“I was sharper,” he said. “My velocity was there, but the biggest thing was I was able to throw my curveball and changeup for strikes and keep them down in the zone. I was able to mix it up, and they couldn’t really lock on to any one pitch.”
Ethan Free wasn’t bad on the mound for Rowan. He lasted until Avery Rogers relieved him in the eighth.
“I couldn’t locate my fastball early, so I had to rely on my breaking pitches,” Free said. “But once I got the fastball working, it came together for me some.”
Bodenhamer was Free’s only problem. He launched a two-run homer to center following a leadoff walk in the first and homered again after an error extended Mocksville’s fourth inning.
“The first homer was a fastball he left up and I hit through it instead of trying to pull it,” Bodenhamer explained. “He struck me out my second at-bat with a curveball, so I went up there looking for the curve the next time — and I got one.”