Prep Baseball: East Montgomery 6, North Rowan 3

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

By Mike London
SPENCER — North Rowan’s Travis Holshouser pitched his second straight complete game, but this one was a little strange.
Officially, this one took 20 days for Holshouser to finish. He started on the mound for the Cavaliers on April 5 against East Montgomery and had pitched three innings when the contest was suspended due to weather issues.
Holshouser (2-4) returned to the mound on Wednesday and threw the final four innings of the contest. He was credited with a complete game but charged with a loss. North couldn’t rally and lost to the visiting Eagles 6-3.
It was 5-1 when play was suspended.
“We had one bad inning and left ourselves too tough hole to dig out of,” North coach Aaron Rimer said. “We actually played six good innings of baseball.”
North (10-11, 7-9) ended the YVC regular season in seventh place despite splitting with East Montgomery, Albemarle and Chatham Central — three teams above the Cavs in the standings.
“Our league is really tough,” EM coach Sean Hassell said. “North will be in the playoffs as a wild card, and they could do well. They’re a good club.”
North entered the week still thinking about rising as high as third place, but two losses in two days hurt.
“Third would’ve been nice, but there’s no huge difference in making the playoffs as a No. 3 seed or by making the playoffs as a wild card,” Rimer said. “Either way, you’re going to on the road in the first round. But once you’re in the dance, you have a chance.”
North was held to five hits by talented EM pitchers Avery Jackson, who started, and 6-foot-5 Hunter Stephens, who took over Wednesday.
Clint Veal went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. Jake Smith banged out two hits and scored twice.
Holshouser shut out EM in the fourth, fifth and sixth. That gave North a chance to chip away, and Veal’s solid, two-out RBI single in the fourth made it 5-2.
The Cavs wasted two walks in the fifth before they made it 5-3 in the sixth when Justin Ogg’s grounder scored Thomas Tucker. The sixth ended with a tumbling catch in left that robbed Chance Mazza of a base hit that would’ve cut the deficit to 5-4. That was a backbreaker.
“Chance hit it good, and we all had our fingers crossed hoping it would fall,” Holshouser said. “It was some tough luck for us.”
Holshouser made a diving stop and acrobatic throw home in the seventh to save a run, but Nathan Reynolds put EM (12-9, 8-6) ahead 6-3 with his third hit of the game.
“I was a long time waiting for this win,” Hassell said with a smile.“Ever since we got suspended, I’ve been going to bed worrying about this game. North got a fresh start today, but we came out focused and got a win we really needed.”