Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2013

SALISBURY — Misery loves company, but there was just one solitary umbrella still upright down the third-base line, as lightning flashed and rain pounded during a dreary delay at Newman Park on Wednesday.
Rowan County’s soggy 15-5 win over Wilkes County finished a second-round sweep that also included 14-4 and 14-1 romps, not that anyone felt much like celebrating when this one was ended — mercifully — by the 10-run-rule after midnight.
It used to be a custom at Newman Park to sweep the bases after a sweep of an opponent, but on this night all available brooms were being used to push water.
The game didn’t get under way until 8:40 because of storms, and it was halted by a lightning flash at 9:52 with Rowan busy batting around in the bottom of the fourth inning and holding a 9-3 lead.
Action resumed again after 11 p.m., and Rowan eventually scored eight times in that elongated fourth that dragged about 90 minutes.
Reliever Heath Mitchem (5-0) got the key out of the evening when he took an underhand flip from first baseman Chance Bowden for out three in the top of the fifth. That one made it an official game.
Wilkes got two doubles each from Brandon Pruitt and Hank Privette and fought hard. That’s why Rowan was clinging to a slim 4-3 lead until that wild and crazy fourth settled the issue.
Justin Evans knocked in four runs for Rowan with two-run singles in the first and fourth.
Riley Myers and Michael Pinkston also drove in two runs each in the fourth inning.