Area briefs: Big hit for Wagner

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2011

From staff reports
Chicago White Sox prospect Daniel Wagner (South Rowan) joined the organization’s big leaguers for a Spring Training game in Arizona on Monday and went 1-for-1.
Wagner entered the game at shortstop in the seventh inning. Normally he’s a second baseman.
“That was kind of the nerve-wracking part,” he said when reached by phone in Arizona. “When I heard, ‘Wagner, you’re in at shortstop,’ well, it was the first time I’d play shortstop since high school.”
Wagner got to swing a bat in the eighth against Cleveland reliever Jensen Lewis. Both played college ball in Nashville; Lewis at Vanderbilt and Wagner at Belmont.
“It was cool, kind of a thrill,” Wagner said. “I had a lot of emotions waiting to hit, thinking back to how far I’d come since high school, but once I got into the box, I was able to focus. After that, it was just playing baseball, like I’d done a million times before. I had fun with it.”
It became even more fun when the lefty-hitting Wagner pulled a base hit to right field.
“I hit it pretty good, over the first baseman’s head and down the line,” Wagner said. “I rounded the bag, saw the right fielder was being kinda lazy, still just approaching the ball, and I kept on going.”
Wagner beat a strong throw on a close play at second. He scored moments later when former LSU hero Jared Mitchell, the top draft pick by the White Sox in 2009, singled him home for a 16-14 lead.
“The boxscore said I had a single, but I’m pretty sure it was a double — didn’t see him bobble it,” Wagner said. “It felt pretty good. It was a pretty big run at the time.”
Wagner hoped to get a second at-bat, but the game was called a 16-16 draw after nine innings.
Wagner traveled with a split squad of big-league Sox to Thursday’s game against Colorado, but he didn’t play in a 5-3 White Sox victory.
7th-grade hoops
Knox’s boys completed a perfect regular season with a 57-36 win against Erwin on Thursday.
Coach Justin Pauley’s Trojans went 14-0 and will be the No. 1 seed for the Rowan County Conference Tournament, which begins today at Knox (See Scoreboard for games).
Jalen Sanders led the Trojans with 26 points. Deshawn Thompson and Joseph Alexander scored 14 and 10 points, respectively. Donnell Alexander scored eight points, Corban Usry tallied seven, and Jalyn Cagle finished with six.
Erwin (3-11) was led by Addison Fry with eight points. Logan Shuping and Austin Love added seven and six, respectively.
Erwin’s girls rolled to a 45-7 win against Knox.
The Eagles (11-3) gained a share of the regular-season title with Southeast. Twins Shenell and Shenique Pharr led the Eagles with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Brittany Small and Avery Wright each had five points and seven rebounds. Jocelyn Lowe had six assists, and Montana Kimrey blocked three shots.
Raven Pruitt scored all seven points for Knox (3-11).
Southeast’s boys beat Mooresville 48-43 to finish fifth.
Austin Russ had a huge game with 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Patriots. Bryson Collins and John Yang scored eight points each, and Alex Yang had five assists and five steals.
College lacrosse
Braden Artem scored four goals as 12th-ranked Catawba beat Rollins 12-7 in Deep South Conference action.
Catawba (4-1) scored five unanswered goals to erase an early 1-0 deficit. Michael Pecchia made 10 stops in goal for Catawba.
Museum open
The University of North Carolina basketball museum will have extended hours on Saturday to help accommodate fans coming to the Smith Center for the NCHSAA 2A and 4A state basketball championships.
The museum will be open from 9-6:30 on Saturday.