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Area briefs: Rowan plays Tuesday

From staff reports
Rowan County opens play in the American Legion state tournament at Gastonia’s Sims Legion Park on Tuesday. Area III runner-up Rowan (32-14) takes on Area I champion Wayne County (24-6) at 12:30 p.m.
Wayne County eliminated Rowan from the tournament last season.
Rowan’s strength is offense. It’s batting .333 as a team with 41 home runs, the fourth-highest total in program history. Rowan clubbed 43 homers in both 1979 and 1980. It powered 47 in 1998.Triggering Rowan’s offense is veteran shortstop Justin Roland, a .365 career hitter. Roland is the all-time leader for Rowan in doubles (52). He ranks second in runs (203) and hits (218), fourth in steals (76) and 10th in RBIs (115).Center fielder Micah Jarrett leads the team in homers with eight and is a career .376 hitter. First baseman Trey Holmes has 92 career RBIs. Holmes and right fielder Zach Smith have 40 RBIs each this season.
Two first-year players ó third baseman Noah Holmes (.406, 46 RBIs) and second baseman Philip Miclat (.370, 16 doubles) ó also are enjoying tremendous seasons.
The pitching staff carries a 5.96 ERA into the state tournament after taking lumps from Burlington-Graham and Randolph County in the last two playoff series.
Rowan had a 3.31 ERA entering the 2007 state tournament.
Right-hander Tanner Brown (7-2, 4.44 ERA) is the probable starter for Rowan in Game 1.
If Rowan wins its opener, it will play at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday against the Hope Mills-Gastonia winner. If Rowan drops its first game, it will be play an elimination game at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday against the Hope Mills-Gastonia loser.
Sims Legion Park can accommodate about 3,000 fans, and it has 900 seats under a covered grandstand.
Recent park renovations include a new scoreboard, improved lighting, repainted locker rooms and shrubs beyond the center-field fence that spell “Gastonia.”
It’s a 60-mile trip from Salisbury. The park is located at 1001 North Marietta Street, near I-85.
From Salisbury, take I-85 for 59 miles to Exit 17. According to Mapquest, briefly follow U.S. 321 south toward Gastonia. Turn left on North Caldwell and make another quick left on West Sycamore. Then take a left on North Marietta.
– Butler released
The Detroit Lions recently released undrafted rookie Matt Butler, a former Salisbury High standout.
Butler, an offensive guard, and tackle Chris Patrick were released when the team signed centers Andy McCollum and Nick Jones.
– Stricklin wins race
Taylor Stricklin (West Rowan) won the recent Hickory Street Stocks 30-lap event at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Stricklin, the pole-sitter, held off veteran Marshall Sutton to make his first trip to Victory Lane. Stricklin, the son of former NASCAR driver Hut Stricklin, was running only the fourth race of his career.
– Intimidators win
Levi Maxwell pitched eighth shutout innings to lead the Kannapolis Intimidators to a 3-0 home victory over the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday. Leroy Hunt earned a save.
Kannapolis (19-21) broke a scoreless tie on Mark Fleisher’s RBI single in the sixth.
– Edwards in action
Local golfer Eric Edwards played in the Optimist International tournament last week in Florida. He shot rounds of 80-78-76ó234 and tied for 39th in the 12-13 age division.
He also competed in the U.S. Kids World Championship in Pinehurst over the weekend. He shot rounds of 73-79-71ó223 to tie for 15th in the 12-year-old division. His final round of 71 was the fourth-best of the day.
– Minor leagues
Vancouver’s David Thomas went 2-for-3 with a two-run single in a 6-5 victory against Everett on Sunday.
– East cross country
East Rowan cross country practice begins today at Dan Nicholas Park. All athletes should have an up-to-date physical.
Boys will practice at 9 a.m. If there are any questions, contact coach Rick Roseman at 704-279-7334.
Girls will practice at 6:30 p.m. If there are any questions, contact coach Jon Heidrick at 704-213-2365.
– East volleyball
East Rowan volleyball starts practice today, and it will run from 9 a.m. until noon. Every girl needs a physical to participate.

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