Cavaliers get first win
LANDIS — North Rowan’s baseball team is pretty good in pink.
North beat South Rowan 4-0 on Monday night in a game in which both teams sported special camo jerseys to support Relay for Life and American Cancer Society fundraising efforts.
South displayed a traditional military look, while the Cavaliers went with a bright, bold, cancer-awareness pink.
“(South coach) Thad Chrismon texted me last Wednesday and asked if we could get some kind of camo jerseys to really make this thing special,” North coach Aaron Rimer said. “Tim Free got us the jerseys on short notice. You never know how something like this is going to go. Sometimes it backfires, but our kids were hyped to put those pink jerseys on. They played excited.”
North has been the local program most directly connected with the fight against cancer, as the Cavaliers lost standout pitcher Patrick Snider to the disease in 2010.
It was fitting that the Cavs put on the pink, and freshman left-hander Brandon White did a lot of the things on the mound that Snider once did, as North (1-3) won for the first time this year.
White (1-1) got ahead, and he battled out of major jams in the sixth and seventh. He finished with a six-hitter.
“Hats off to their pitcher, but we got ourselves out a lot,” South star Eric Tyler said. “Too many flyballs. We’ve got to hit better.”
White walked one and struck out three, and he’ll probably never forget his first high school win.
“Brandon was only going to throw three innings, but he was getting ahead 95 percent of the time,” Rimer said. “He got into the sixth inning with is pitch-count at 50, so we let him finish.”
Rimer sensed something special was happening. North beat South for the first time since 2006 when the Cavs had Keegan Linza to the mound.
South (3-2) had beaten North eight straight times since then, and three of those meetings had been lopsided, 10-run-rule romps.
But not this time.
“We walked a couple, made a few defensive mistakes when they put pressure on us, and we just let it get away,” Chrismon said.
It looked for a time like the story might be South pitcher Nathan Lambert.
Taking the mound for the first time in varsity action, the senior sat down the first 11 Cavaliers he faced before Clint Veal singled with two men out in the fourth.
Lambert exited after four innings, and the Cavaliers broke through for three runs against Andrew Fulton (0-1) in a zany fifth.
Noah Gonzalez’s bunt single triggered the rally, and Robert Monroe had a pinch-hit RBI single, and South donated three walks and two errors. South also failed to catch a foul flyball.
“We became the aggressors in that inning,” Rimer said. “That’s the first time this year we’ve done that.”
Chance Mazza’s RBI single in the sixth made it 4-0.
When Tyler smashed a hot grounder at shortstop Thomas Tucker on a third-inning hit-and-run, Tucker and first baseman Travis Holshouser turned it into a huge DP.
“That was the play that pumped us up,” White said. “Heck of a play by Tuck and a heck of a scoop by Travis. We kept some real big momentum after that.”