Legion Baseball: Rowan 19, Mooresville 6: Rowan gets top seed
By Bret Strelow
MOORESVILLE ó Preston Troutman’s first American Legion home run erased an early deficit, and pinch-hitter Casey Little’s first Legion homer put the finishing touches on a Rowan County rout.
Rowan, aided by South Rowan’s loss, clinched the top playoff seed for the Southern Division of Area III with a 19-6 victory at Mooresville on Thursday.
Zach Smith pushed Rowan (14-4, 11-3) ahead for good with a three-run homer in the second inning, and Little’s three-run blast closed the scoring in the seventh.
“We’re coming to the park ready to play, wanting to hit, realizing if we don’t hit then we’re letting our pitchers down,” Rowan first baseman and leadoff hitter Trey Holmes said.
Mooresville (6-6, 5-6) scored twice in the first inning against Rowan starter Cody Laws, and Troutman’s two-run shot off Aaron Meadows tied the game in the second.
Mooresville first baseman Brantley Horton ranged to his right to snag a two-out grounder from Holmes, who reached because Meadows didn’t cover the bag. Russell Michalec singled and Smith smacked a 1-0 fastball over the left-field fence.
“When someone gives us extra outs, we just have to make sure we take advantage,” Holmes said. “We can’t be happy with not producing any more.”
Meadows, the cleanup hitter for Mooresville, made his second mound appearance of the season and lasted two innings.
Rowan broke the game open with a four-run fourth that produced a 10-3 lead, and Holmes homered in the sixth.
“It is a game of streaks and getting hot,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt said. “When you’ve got guys like Trey Holmes swinging the bat like he has and Zach Smith and Corbin Shive too, they can carry you for a while. We’re enjoying the streak, but we know it may end here soon.”
Chris Long, the second of five Mooresville pitchers, had thrown 21/3 innings prior to Thursday’s contest. Jordan Farrell, Eric Manser and Dylan West all made their mound debuts.
Mooresville issued 12 walks, allowed 16 hits and committed four errors.
“You have to have fun playing the game, and these kids aren’t having any fun,” Mooresville coach Josh Graham said. “It’s been a long week altogether.”