Legion Baseball: Rowan plays afternoon game on Saturday
By Ronnie Gallagher
As soon as Rowan County’s American Legion team realized it was meeting Mocksville in the first round of the Southern Division playoffs, team officials started thinking about a potential conflict Saturday.
Rowan, the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed, will play host to Game 1 on Friday at Newman Park, but the scheduled game in Mocksville on Saturday seemed iffy. Mocksville always holds its July 4 celebration at Rich Park.
The town has decided it’s OK to play Game 2 at 2 p.m. The rest will remain on schedule.
“I don’t care,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt replied when asked if he minded playing in the afternoon. “It’s the only place I’ve ever been where they had a sun delay. We’ll see what happens.
“We’ll have Saturday night (off), that’s the way I look at it. I can go out and eat with my wife.”
Second seed South Rowan will play host to No. 8 Wilkes on Friday. At first, South thought it might play all of the games at Landis because Wilkes might not have its usual site at Wilkes Central available. Bot things have been worked out. South goes to Wilkes on Saturday.
The other series have No. 3 Mooresville against No. 6 Concord and No. 4 Stanly facing off against No. 5 Lexington.
Mooresville, Lexington and Stanly tied for third place at 8-8 in the division. Wilkes, Mocksville and Kannapolis tied for seventh place with 6-10 records.
The second round is scheduled to start Wednesday, July 8.
When asked about meeting Mocksville, a team Rowan beat 10-3 on Monday for its sixth straight win, Gantt said, “I really don’t look forward to playing any team. Everybody’s got a couple of pitchers, and everybody’s got a couple of hitters. Mocksville beat us 2-1 up there, so we’ll have to play well to win.”
Rowan (16-4, 13-3) wrapped up yet another title, winning the division over South (14-6, 10-6).
“It’s nice to win it, even though it’s only for a seed,” Gantt said. “But that home seed is important to our program. We’re a lot better at home.”
Gantt doesn’t see a problem with the three-day layoff.
“You like to stay sharp, especially the way we’ve been hitting it,” he said. “The guys hit (Tuesday), they’ll play in the all-star game (today) and practice Thursday, so we’ll get back in the swing of things.”
The North-South All-Star Game will be held at McCrary Park in Asheboro tonight. There will be a whopping 31 members on the South team, including 13 from the two local squads.
Rowan will send eight: infielders Trey Holmes, Noah Holmes, Philip Miclat and Preston Troutman, outfielders Jon Crucitti and Russell Michalec and pitchers Corbin Shive and Billy Veal.
South is sending five from Michael Lowman’s team: infielders Maverick Miles and Brett Huffman, outfielders Ryan Bostian and Caleb Shore and pitcher Will Misenheimer.
Two West Rowan players, catcher Hernan Bautista and pitcher Jake Koontz, are among the Mocksville representatives.