Legion Baseball: Rowan 13, Wilkes 0
By Jordan Honeycutt
SALISBURY — Pitching wins ballgames.
That age-old baseball adage proved true yet again, as Rowan routed Wilkes County 13-0 Monday night in seven innings, behind a two-hitter from starter Bradley Robbins.
After losing two in a row because of some shaky pitching, Robbins showed that he can provide Rowan with some consistency on the mound.
“I felt like I had my best stuff out there tonight,” Robbins said. “I stayed slow in my delivery and didn’t let myself get overheated like I have in the past.”
The only thing overheated on this night was Rowan catcher Luke Thomas’s mitt, as Robbins gassed fastballs past the Wilkes hitters for nine strikeouts, in addition to allowing only the two hits.
“Bradley did a lot of improving his delivery with East Rowan’s pitching coach Brian Hatley,” said Rowan coach Jim Gantt. “He has really gotten himself balanced better out there and by slowing down, has become more consistent than last year.”
Rowan’s bats proved not to be overshadowed, though, as it belted out 13 runs on a heavy dose of gapping doubles, bases on balls, and timely seeing-eye singles.
“The guys know that when Bradley is pitching, they have a good chance to win, and thankfully tonight they were able to give him a lot of run support to go along with his solid effort,” Gantt said.
Leading the offensive charge for the home team was right fielder Taylor Garczynski, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of opposite-field doubles that plated three runs.
“They were trying to pound me outside early and I was just seeing the ball really well and was able to go with the pitch and drive it to the opposite gap,” Garczynski said.
Rowan third baseman Avery Rogers and left fielder Matt Mauldin also chimed in with two hits apiece.
Wilkes coach Terry Johnson, also offered some very high praise for Rowan in defeat.
“They are a great team and always have been, Johnson said. “We knew coming into tonight that we were going to have our hands full and our work cut out for us.
“You aren’t going to beat anybody, much less Rowan, only getting two hits, but we saw a lot of things tonight, mainly with our pitchers that we can improve upon and get much better.”
Aiding Robbins on the mound and securing his two-hit masterpiece were relievers Caleb Henley and Will Johnson, who each tossed an inning of work and allowed nothing.
Rowan (3-2, 3-1), will head to Central Cabarrus High School to take on Concord tonight before coming bahome against Statesville Wednesday.
“That’s the nature of the beast with this legion ball,” Gantt said. “You know that you are going to be playing a lot of consecutive games and luckily for us, we have a lot of guys ready to go.”