Rowan beats Morehead City 11-7

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 25, 2011

By Ryan Bisesi
MOREHEAD CITY — On Saturday, it was one home run that killed Rowan.
Sunday, Rowan’s opponent hit five on their host field in an elimination game, but Rowan was the team dishing out the hard luck.
Baseball is, indeed, a funny game.
Morehead City, the host team from Area II, hit five home runs to accumulate all its scoring, but a six-run sixth inning for Rowan gave it the lead for good in an 11-7 triumph to keep its season alive in the state tournament.
Rowan (25-9) will face Cherryville at 7 tonight on Day 4 of the tournament.
Legion baseball fans will see their share of odd scores and unusual plays, but a team hitting five out was almost always a sure thing until Sunday.
“It was crazy,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt said. “Matt Laurens had given up six or seven hits at one point and five of them left the park. Luckily, there weren’t a bunch of men on base when they hit them.”
Someone had to break the offensive showcase, and Bradley Robbins stepped up.
Robbins came on in the seventh with the bases loaded and nobody out. The reliever had to break the trend of offensive fireworks from Morehead and did just that, striking out a pair and getting a popout to escape a nearly impossible situation in a less-than-ideal venue for a hurler.
“They were sitting fastball, for sure,” said Robbins of Morehead’s Ryan Springle, Jay Phillips and Damon Hoggard. “Luckily, I had enough where I could get it by them and they wouldn’t hit it hard anywhere.”
Robbins struck out his counterpart in Springle and got Phillips to pop up and cause an infield fly. Hoggard worked the count full and struck out swinging to ignite the crowd from the southern piedmont who made the trip.
“That was the dagger,” Morehead City coach Robbie Lasater said. “We’ve got to plate at least two of those runs.”
Avery Rogers continued the bullpen success in tight spots, coming on with runners at first and second and no one out in the eighth. Rogers got Jonathan Campbell to line into a 4-6 double play and forced Sonny Long to ground out to first. Rogers threw the game’s lone perfect inning in the ninth after a Taylor Garczynski RBI single gave Rowan some padding.
Rowan countered Morehead’s power with its ability to score in just about any way except hitting one out. After Nathan Fulbright and Matt Mauldin opened the sixth with singles, Dakota Brown got his first triple of the season to pull Rowan within 6-5.
“I was looking to go opposite field and he threw me one outside,” Brown said. “It’s probably my biggest hit of the year.”
After Rogers walked and Garczynski was hit by a pitch, leadoff hitter Will Sapp hit a dribbler to second to get the tying run home and Rogers scored on an errant throw from Tyler Brewer for a 7-6 edge. Justin Morris and Andy Austin added sacrifice flies, and it was 9-6 after the side was retired.
“We’re just glad to get the win and be able to play tomorrow,” said Sapp, who had two hits, two RBIs and scored two runs.
Ethan Free (3-1) didn’t have a heavy workload with just two-thirds of an inning, but he picked up a win as part of Gantt’s managing of the bullpen. Jared Mathis also worked two-thirds of an inning.
“This kind of thing you need to stretch as much as you can since you need fresh arms for tomorrow,” Gantt said.
Rogers scored three runs and had two hits for Rowan.
Matt Laurens started the game and pitched 42/3 innings allowing seven hits, five of which left the ballpark. Campbell, Long, Hoggard, Dalton Knight and Kris Linder all hit balls over the wall. Knight and Linder hit two-run shots in the fourth to give Morehead a 6-3 edge.
Morehead City defeated Cary 10-7 Saturday after getting shelled 13-1 by Cherryville Friday. The host team ended its season at 16-8.

Rowan 11, Morehead City 7

        ab    r    h    bi        ab    r    h    bi
Sapp cf    5    2    2    2    Hggrd ss    2    2    1    1
Morris ss    4    0    0    1    Knght c    4    1    2    2
Austin 1b    4    0    1    1    Crnmr cf    4    0    0    0
Thomas c    4    0    2    0    Cmpbl rf    5    1    1    1
Flbrght dh    5    1    1    0    Long lf    3    2    2    1
Mldin lf    4    2    1    0    Ldner lf    5    1    2    2
Brown 2b    4    1    1    2    Gomla rf    4    0    2    0
Rgers 3b    4    3    2    0    Brwer 2b    2    0    0    0
Grzski rf    4    2    2    1    Phlps 1b    4    0    0    0
                        Mrcer c    1    0    0    0
                        Sprgle 1b    1    0    1    0
Totals    38    11    12    7    Totals    35    7    11    7

Rowan    000         036    101    —    11
Morehead City    010    141    000    —    7
   E?— Morris, Gomola 2, Hoggard, Lindner. DP — Rowan 1. LOB — Rowan 9, Morehead City 10. 2B — Gomola 2. 3B — Brown. HR?— Campbell,Lindner, Hoggard, Long, Knight. SF?— Morris, Austin. CS — Fulbright.
    IP    H    R    ER    BB    K    
Laurens    42/3    7    6    6    4    5
Free W,3-1    2/3    3    1    1    0    1
Mathis    2/3    1    0    0    2    1
Robbins    11/3    0    0    0    1    2
Rogers S,1    12/3    0    0    0    0    2
Morehead City
Gomola    5    9    6    5    1    6    Hoggard L    1    0    4    2    4    1
Springle    3    3    1    0    1    5
   WP?— Mathis, Gomola 2. HBP?— by Laurens (Hoggard), by Robbins (Knight), by Hoggard (Garczynski). PB — Knight.