Prep Baseball: East Rowan 9, Carson 5
By Mike London
CHINA GROVE ó East Rowan’s Micah Jarrett raised a batting average that’s almost impossible to raise, while sophomore Noah Holmes raised a few eyebrows with one mighty swing.
East got another pitching win from unbeaten control artist Cody Laws, who threw two shutout innings in relief, and stayed unbeaten in the NPC with a hard-earned 9-5 victory at Carson on Friday.
Holmes’ two-out solo homer in the fourth ó a wicked, soaring liner over the fence in center ó was the key blow. It broke a 5-5 tie after the Cougars (7-8, 5-5) had fought back from an early 4-0 deficit.
“I just got a great pitch to hit, a fastball that was belt high,” Holmes said.
Holmes has been known as Trey’s little brother ó “that makes it a little tougher,” he said ó but he’s establishing himself as a standout for the Mustangs (14-2, 10-0), who won their 10th straight.
“Noah is one of the best hitters in the county, although I’m not sure everyone knows him yet,” Carson coach Chris Cauble said. “He’s always had the knack and the drive. He’s a super soph, that’s for sure.”
Jarrett, who drilled three base hits, did what he’s done all spring. He entered the game at .511, exited at .519 and showed he’s one of the state’s best unsigned seniors.
His status as unsigned may not last much longer. Wake Forest checked him out on Friday, and he’s being flown up for a recruiting visit by Boston College today.
“I just try to keep all that recruiting stuff out of my head and focus on each game,” Jarrett said. “We knew Carson would be ready. We jumped on them real good early, but they got a few breaks and came right back at us.”
Carson wanted to atone for an ugly 10-0, five-inning loss to East at Staton Field, and it accomplished that goal.
“Carson is a team with a lot of fight,” East coach Brian Hightower said. “Whenever they play good defense, they can play with anybody. Chris did a great job with his pitching moves, but we had an edge. It was our second game this week and their third.”
Carson had a chance to fold right away. East started the game looking like it belonged in the American League, instead of the NPC. Justin Roland, Zach Smith, Jarrett, Corbin Shive, starting pitcher Trey Holmes and Noah Holmes blistered consecutive hits to knock out Carson lefty Cameron Park. East lost one run because of a baserunning mishap, but Will Misenheimer relieved in what appeared to be a game headed for the 10-run rule.
Austin Shull’s bouncer down the third-base line greeted Misenheimer. It glanced off the glove of Jeremy Mullis into left field, and East led 4-0 with many fans still searching for seats.
But the first six Cougars reached safely in the second, and they put up a five-spot to grab a 5-4 lead. Zack Grkman, Nicholas Glass and Zack Bottenfield singled in runs.
Misenheimer pitched five good innings and got lots of defensive help from shortstop Gunnar Hogan, but Ben DeCelle drove in the tying run for East in the third, and Holmes bruised his tiebreaking homer in the fourth.
“I’m always ready to pitch,” said Misenheimer who fielded several stinging grounders. “I kept the ball low and I had some movement, so I did fine except for the one pitch to Noah. I got that one up.”
In the sixth, Jarrett scored on a wild pitch, and Ethan Fisher finally broke it open with a two-run, two-out single.
Roland pitched the last two innings, limited Carson to a pair of infield hits and helped Laws improve to 6-0.
“East hit lasers early,” Cauble said. “They did what a first-place team is supposed to do, came in here and just threw it on us. But we never hung our heads. We fought to the final out.”
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.