Legion Baseball: Concord 6, Kannapolis 5

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó A tough season got tougher for Kannapolis on Wednesday with a 6-5 loss to Concord at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.
Kannapolis pitchers Zach Jones and Jarrin Hogue gave their team a chance, but Post 115 somehow left 11 men on base despite banging out three doubles and two triples.
Kannapolisí third inning was about as deflating as it gets. Two singles, two walks ó no runs.
ěWe didnít just leave a lot of guys on base, we left them on in scoring position,î Kannapolis coach Matt Stack said. ěIf we pick up half those guys, itís not even a close game.î
Jason Wallace, a Kannapolis slugger whoís transferring from Lynchburg to Catawba, had the worst luck of anyone in the park.
His liner to right in the seventh would have knocked in a run, but it was caught by a diving Brandon Porter. Wallaceís two-out, bases- loaded smash in the third zoomed directly to center fielder A.J. James.
ěWhen that ball came off Wallaceís bat, I felt sure it was a hit,îsaid winning pitcher Anthony Allende, who is headed to Catawba. ěBut when I turned around, A.J. was under it.î
Jones allowed 12 hits in six innings but only walked one. Hogue was dynamite in relief the rest of the way.
Landon Hubbardís two-run, opposite-field triple in the second lifted Kannapolis into a 2-2 tie, but Concord (6-6, 5-5) inched ahead 3-2 on Allendeís RBI single in the third.
It was still 3-2 heading to the seventh. Kannapolis (2-8, 2-7) had a solid defensive night, but its one key mistake came in that decisive inning.
A walk and hits by Ethan Ledbetter and Logan Austin loaded the bases and ended Jones night. Hogue relieved and got a groundball that shouldíve been a double play, but shortstop Josh Martin didnít make a play heíll make 95 percent of the time. Two runs scored, and Concord made it 6-2 later in the inning by scoring a run on a turned double play.
Will Millerís booming triple ignited a two-run bottom of the seventh for Kannapolis, and it was 6-4 going to the bottom of the eighth.
Martin redeemed himself with an RBI single to slice the deficit to 6-5, and Wesley Honeycutt got a chance to hit with the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out.
He lashed a pitch down the third-base line that looked like a sure double, but Blaine Hill gloved it and started a back-breaking twin killing.
ěThat kid made a great play there,î Honeycutt said. ěHe just stabbed it. That was a killer.î
Concord coach Jaymie Russ calmly watched reliever Stephen Gilmore strike out the side in the ninth, and it was over.
ěWe made some great plays defensively, and Hillís play was huge,î Russ said. ěHe was having a tough night at the plate (three Ks), but he didnít take it into the field with him.î