Baseball: North Rowan 6, Carson 5
By Jordan Honeycutt
SPENCER — Dramatic comebacks are becoming a recurring pattern in Spencer as the North Rowan baseball team outlasted Carson 6-5, scoring five of their six runs in the last inning.
North Rowan began coaxing walks, getting hit by pitches and delivering key hits by being selective at the plate to set up the game-winner.
With runners on second and third and trailing by one, Matt Mauldin bounced a slow roller to shortstop, which Gunnar Hogan cleanly fielded and fired low in the dirt to first.
Mauldin slid head first as the throw scooted by Carson first baseman Kyle Bridges and Wes Barker and Alex Morgan raced home to earn the victory.
“This was a great win. Carson did everything they could to win it and we did everything we could to give it to them, but these guys listened to us and toughed it out in the end,” said North Rowan coach Aaron Rimer.
The game started out as a pitcher’s duel between North’s Tyler Blume and Carson’s Mitch Galloway, as both teams were scoreless after four.
The Cougars missed out on a great scorng chance in the third when catcher Joseph Basinger lined a rocket into center and Kyle Youngo attempted to score from second but was hosed at the plate by Cavalier center-fielder Mason Jennings.
Likewise, the Cavs had a chance in the bottom of the third as Jennings belted a limb-breaker to right field that just hooked foul.
Goose eggs finally faded away in the fifth, when Blume plunked both Youngo and Kyle Bridges and was ran from the game.
Youngo was hit right on the ankle and pinch-runner Caleb Trexler scored on Galloway’s opposite-field RBI single.
North answered Carson in the fifth when Galloway hit Hunter Feezor and Thomas Tucker and Jennings delivered a sacrifice fly to left that scored Feezor.
That’s when the Cougar bats became mighty, in the sixth. Carson plated four runs in the sixth on three base hits and two North errors, as well as a key double steal called by Carson coach Chris Cauble.
Youngo took off for second as shortstop Gunnar Hogan raced home, easily beating the throw to put the Cougars on top 5-1.
Then, the Cavalier magic took over once again and Mauldin’s moment arrived.
“I just took off as fast as I could man and to tell you the truth, I don’t feel like I made the winning hit because he (Hogan) made the error, but I’m happy to get the win for sure,” said Mauldin.
A jubilated Rimer admitted that he was a bit nervous as well on the final play.
“I was just hoping that he was going to get there and then I saw the throw go low and Matt slide and I knew he was going to beat it,” said Rimer.
For Carson, as expected, the moods were much mre dejected and volatile in wake of the loss.
“We tried not to be too tense there in the end, but give them credit, as this result was more of what they did, I think, instead of what we didn’t do,” said Cauble.
Both coaches, however, were very satisfied from the peformances they received on the mound Wednesday, and with good reason.
“Blume pitched fantastic and he hasn’t pitched very much for us this year, he’s kinda like a freshman in a senior’s body, so I’m really pleased with his effort tonight,” said Rimer.
Cauble echoed those sentiments about his starter Mitch Galloway saying “Mitch was great and battled toe-to-toe with their guy. He just ran out of gas there in the fifth and tired out a bit.”
North Rowan hopes to ride this wave of momentum farther into it’s season. Their record improves to (3-1, 2-1).
“If we can come back and beat a good 3A team like Carson, there’s no excuse for us to lose any 1A team,” said Mauldin.
For Carson, they have to have a short memory, as they fall to (2-4, 1-1) and take on West Rowan in an NPC battle tonight.
“We’ll have us a little pow-wow here later tonight and then have to turn our attention to West, as that game is more important to us.”