Legion Baseball: Lethargic loss for Rowan
MOORESVILLE — It has been an up and down season for the Rowan Legion baseball team and Wednesday night was one of those down times.
Walks and fielding errors negated what was otherwise a solid outing as Rowan dropped a 6-5 non-division game to the Post 66 Mooresville Moors at Lake Norman High.
A pair of errors in the third by Rowan allowed the Moors to tie it at 2-2. Then in the sixth Post 66 (9-8) rallied from a 4-2 deficit to take the lead for good on a pair of walks, another Rowan error and a two out hit.
“We’ll take them however we can get them,” Mooresville coach Seth Graham said. “ Teams that are going to win take advantage of mistakes like we saw tonight.”
The win was a two game regular season sweep of Rowan by the Moors and strangely enough was just their first win at home after six losses.
Rowan (9-7) still had chances to pull the game out in the final two innings but Post 66 reliever Michael Elwell came on to to dodge a couple of bullets and earn the save. Rowan got to Elwell in the top of the eighth with pinch hit singles by Michael Caldwell and Luke Setzer plus a throwing error by the Moors. That made it 6-5 with one out but Elwell got a ground out then fanned Ashton Fleming to end the threat.
In the ninth Rowan had the heart of their order up and put the tying run on with one out on a Brian Bauk single. That brought up Chance Bowden who already was 3-for-4 with two RBI and his second homer of the season. But Elwell fooled him on a two strike pitch and got him to pop out to right.
“I wasn’t expecting a fastball in that situation with two strikes because he had a tight curve ball.” Bowden said. “I just got under it and he had me dipping a little bit. It is just a tough loss. We had our chances but just came up short.”
The damaging trend for Rowan in the game was three errors and seven walks issued by five pitchers. They outhit the Moors 12-6 but could not overcome their own miscues.
“It’s not about losing but the way we lose and the way we go about it on the field.” a frustrated Coach Jim Gantt stated.
He spent extra time after the game talking to the team about being more focused and mature in their play.
“ I don’t want to take anything away from Mooresville because they did what they needed to do.” Gantt said. “We just need to change the way we approach the game and take it more seriously.”
Connor Johnson started for Rowan and pitched well early before walks and errors hampered him the the third. Brandon White took the loss for Rowan with three runs allowed in the sixth on two walks and a pair of two out singles. They added a critical extra run in the seventh on Holden Pender’s two out single off Justin Evans. Garrett Welborne earned the win for the Moors with Elwell taking the two inning save.
Bowden was a true offensive bright spot for Rowan with an RBI single in the first, a long homer to left in the third and another RBI single in the fifth to make it 4-2. Bauk also had a strong game at the plate with two hits, a sacrifice bunt and two stolen bases. Josh Lamberth led the Moors’ offense with three hits and two RBI’s from the eight spot in the order.