F&M Bank Classic: Northwest Cabarrus 7, West Rowan 6

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2012

By Ryan Bisesi
KANNAPOLIS — Dangling in sort of a Venus fly trap of trouble all day, West Rowan couldn’t dodge trouble’s jaws for another inning against Northwest Cabarrus.
The Falcons started off the day getting hit on the helmet and ended it by absorbing a whack to the gut in a 7-6 loss to Northwest Cabarrus Friday at CMC-NorthEast Stadium at the F&M Bank High School Classic.
NWC’s Jarrin Hogue got his first win on the mound and got the game-winning double in the bottom of the eighth to score two.
The duel went extras thanks in part to West pitcher Matt Miller, who got stronger as the game progressed. Miller got out of key jams in the fourth and fifth innings without giving up a run. West fought back from a 4-0 deficit and took a 5-4 lead in the fifth and went up 6-5 in the eighth.
“It could have gotten ugly early, but Matt made pitches and kept us hanging around,” West coach Chad Parker said.
Northwest and West (7-9) stranded 10 runners apiece.
“We were one hit away from having a bigger night,” Parker said. “From a team standpoint, it wasn’t bad. We could have done a few more small things to get a win.”
West reliever Michael Ball entered the game with a 5-0 record and juked around two walks in the seventh to send it to the eighth.
Nick Collins and Jonah Marsh, the No. 7 and 8 batters, singled to start the extra frame and Tyler Stamp executed a sacrifice bunt perfectly to put both in scoring position. Hogue got Bryce Burns to ground out and intentionally walked Hunter Teeter to load the bases. Justin Evans walked on four pitches to force in a run. The bases stayed loaded for Louis Kraft, but Hogue struck out the first baseman looking.
Ball got a groundball to start the bottom of the inning, but an infield error allowed Tanner Bigham to reach safely and put a man on for Corey Seager, not ideal in any situation. Seager singled and Tyler Noyes sacrificed the runners over on a bunt. After Jordan Goodman was walked to load the bases, Hogue took a 3-2 offering from Ball and hit it over everything but the wall in center.
“I was happy we battled back,” Parker said. “We didn’t give away at-bats and hung in there with a good team.”
Hogue, who had three hits and four RBIs, finished a roller coaster day on top after committing two errors at third and allowing the Falcons’ final run. His single to left scored a pair in the first to hand the Trojans the lead.
In the fourth, Kraft reached on a ball misplayed by the outfield to start the rally. Marsh drove in two with a single and Stamp tied the game at four with a single up the middle.
NWC (11-3) had the first two men reach in the fourth, but Miller got Noyes to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, Hogue got a leadoff double and went to third on a balk, but Miller struck out Smith and Josh Eudy and got Ryan Keziah to ground out to keep West in front.
“We’ve been talking about needing to step up lately,” NWC coach Joe Hubbard said. “It’s good to see us execute well the last inning, but we should have done that before then.”
Marsh led West with a three-hit effort while Teeter, Kraft and Collins all had two hits each. Burns, who was whacked on the helmet in the first at bat of the game, reached base twice.
West plays Mt. Pleasant in the morning game today while NWC takes on Carson at 4 p.m.