Legion Baseball: Mooresville 8, South Rowan 5
By Ryan Bisesi
LANDIS — After a crucial win in the rivarly against its county rival, coming to the ballpark was fun for South Rowan on Monday.
But after falling back into its old habits against the Mooresville Moors, leaving the field didn’t have the same feeling but rather a familiar one it has felt all too much after excruciating losses.
The Moors scored three times in the ninth and contained their hosts after loading the bases to cap an 8-5 win to complete a road sweep of Rowan County and their fourth win against South (4-11, 3-7) in as many tries.
Mooresville (9-3, 7-2) scored twice in the third without hitting the out of the infield and never trailed in the game, despite South tying it three times.
“We played them four times and I don’t know how we’ve come away winners four times,” Mooresville coach Josh Graham said.
South outhit Mooresville 12-8 and got seven strong innings on the mound from Jesse Park, but the Moors scored five times in the final two innings to seal the win.
“We were all energetic at batting practice,” South designated hitter Matt Miller said. “It’s difficult when those one or two things don’t go our way, but that’s baseball.”
Mooresville leadoff hitter Jesse Seaford doubled in Josh Holcomb and Michael Knight with one out in the ninth to give the Moors the lead for keeps. Nick Keith, who threw the first 71/3 innings, drove in the final run on an RBI single two batters later.
Maverick Miles, who celebrated his 19th birthday Monday, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk while a Gunnar Hogan hit-by-pitch put runners at the corners with one out. After getting Dylan Walker to pop out, closer A.J. Nelson hit Joseph Basinger to load the bases.
Parker Hubbard, one Saturday’s heroes in the win against Rowan, grounded back to Nelson to end the game.
“It was another frustrating loss,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “I hate to say we found a way to lose, but that’s almost what we did.”
Three third-inning errors equaled a 2-0 deficit for South before getting a two-run double off the wall in left from Miller in the fourth.
Mooresville’s Taylor Thurber, from Lake Norman, and South’s Gunnar Hogan traded homers in the fifth as the game stood tied at three after five.
Park tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but exited after walking Michael Knight and Jesse Seaford to start the eighth. Seaford appeared to have attempted to bunt on a pitch with two strikes, but it was ruled that he didn’t go around. Nathan Sharpe singled off the glove of Connor Bridges at third base with the bases loaded to score a pair.
South came back to tie it again in the bottom of the inning with Dylan Walker and Basinger scoring on wild pitches.
“I told the kids the last times we had a loss like this that they responded well and beat a good team,” Lowman said.
NOTE: South travels to Statesville today.