Prep Baseball: North Rowan 8, Gray Stone 2
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER — North Rowan needed a few firsts for its first game off spring break.
Thomas Tucker pitched his first complete game for his first win of the year and Alex Morgan hit his only home run of the season as North prevailed 8-2 against Gray Stone Tuesday. The Cavaliers scored three runs in the fourth with two out to key the Yadkin Valley Conference victory.
Morgan’s homer came in the fourth on a full count as the Cavs gained separation from a pesky Gray Stone team. The senior leadoff man worked his way back from an 0-2 count against Josh Faile and roped a high heater that exited stage left and gave North a 5-1 edge.
“He threw a fastball that was over the plate,” Morgan said. “I was down 0-2 then fouled off a couple balls and got back in it.”
Jake Smith and Chance Mazza, the 3-4 hitters, had three hits each for the Cavs, who moved to 8-9 overall and 6-7 in the YVC.
“We had a better approach at the plate,” North coach Aaron Rimer said. “The guys did a great job on the basepaths. We had a pretty solid game.”
Going into the fourth, Gray Stone hung with the Cavs before North put up three runs each in the fourth and the sixth. David Singletary tied it at 1 with an RBI single in the second.
“Gray Stone put a pretty good arm out there,” Rimer said. “They weren’t bad at all.”
Outside of hiccups in the second and seventh frams, Tucker kept the Knights off the scoreboard and worked out of a couple jams. Gray Stone loaded the bases in the sixth after singles from Devin Russell, Carl Wagner and Singletary. Tucker, who threw 92/3 innings against Central Davidson last week, got Matthew Lambert to bounce back to the mound on the second pitch.
“He did a fantastic job,” Rimer said. “He found the strike zone and he won’t walk a lot of guys.”
Tucker threw 109 pitches, 71 of which were strikes.
The Knights (2-12, 1-12) couldn’t come through with runners in scoring position. GS stranded a runner at third with no one out in the second and a runner at third with two out in the third.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Gray Stone coach Myron Harrington said. “You put so much pressure on your defense.”
North’s Justin Ogg walked twice, doubled and scored a pair of runs. Ogg gave North the lead for keeps when he scored on Mazza’s double in the third with two out to make it 2-1.
Faile got Josh Mock to ground out and Hartley to strike out to start the fourth. Clint Veal walked and Parker Smith singled to create a threat and Veal scored on a double steal to make it 3-1 prior to Morgan’s blast.
“It was just a great at bat from Alex,” Rimer said. “He fouled a bunch off and the guy hung one and he didn’t pull it on the football field and stayed in on it.”
Ogg doubled home Parker Smith in the sixth on a shot to left field and Jake Smith followed with an RBI double of his own. Mazza tripled to right center to score Smith and complete the scoring for North. Mazza finished with three RBIs.
“Hopefully this gives us momentum going into Carson (tonight) and a conference game Friday,” Morgan said.