Legion Baseball: Rowan 15, Mocksville 10
By Bret Strelow
MOCKSVILLE ó Rowan County didn’t take batting practice, but it got in plenty of work during the game.
Rowan registered a season-high 19 hits, including four home runs, in a 15-10 win against Mocksville at sun-scorched Rich Park on Sunday.
Rowan, which fell behind 3-0, took control with a seven-run second inning and captured its fifth consecutive victory.
“We didn’t take BP today to try to rest up a little bit, and it looked like we were sleepwalking there early,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt said. “I wouldn’t say we lit it up later on, but we just swung the bats well enough. We’ll take it, that’s for sure. It’s tough to play in this heat every day.”
Mocksville (7-6, 3-4) opened the bottom half of the first inning with four straight hits, including Justin Kidd’s three-run double.
Rowan (8-3, 4-3) responded with six straight hits off Jake Koontz to start the second inning. Zach Smith, Billy Veal and Austin Shull drove in the first three runs, and Justin Roland followed with a tiebreaking single.
Koontz retired the next two batters, but Trey Holmes belted a three-run homer.
“We just stayed back and got hits when we needed them,” Shull said. “We always seem to get the job done.”
Mocksville drew within 9-6 thanks to a solo homer from Chris Kinard in the fourth inning, and Micah Jarrett’s solo homer to center in the sixth gave Rowan a 10-6 lead.
Mocksville reliever Tyler Howard retired the first two batters in the seventh before Veal and Shull hit back-to-back homers.
“We were creeping back in, and they just found a way to keep scoring,” Mocksville coach Mike Lovelace said. “Usually, when you score 10 runs, you think you’re going to have an opportunity to win.”
Rowan starter Russell Michalec lasted only 21/3 innings. Relief pitcher Matt Hall allowed two hits and two runs in 32/3 innings to pick up the win.
Hall issued a bases-loaded walk to the first batter he faced in the third inning, and he fanned Clint Howell for the second out. Hall faked a toss to third base before making a successful pickoff throw to first.
Hall notched an inning-ending strikeout in the sixth with two runners on base and Kidd at the plate as the tying run. Cody Laws, who pitched the final three innings, struck out leadoff hitter Heath Boyd to strand a pair of runners with Mocksville trailing 12-8 in the seventh.
“Our pitching did enough, and our hitters certainly did enough,” Gantt said. “Thank goodness we scored some runs. So far this year, with two outs and nobody on, our pitchers will lose focus and walk a guy. They pitched out of some jams.”
NOTES:Mocksville, with six players out of town, had only three reserves available. … Noah Holmes went 4-for-5, and all four of his hits went to the opposite field. Shull and Jarrett had three hits and three RBIs apiece. … Trey Holmes, Rowan’s first baseman, made a leaping catch on Seth Miller’s line drive in the seventh inning. … Rowan has moved from eighth place to fourth in the division thanks to recent wins against Kannapolis, South Rowan and Mocksville.n
Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or email@example.com.