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Davidson gets back at Rowan

LEXINGTON — Rowan County continued its torrid hitting streak Sunday night at historic Holt-Moffitt field but the pitching and defense just could not keep pace.

Davidson County Post 8 battled back from an early 6-1 deficit with a couple of big innings to rally past Rowan 10-7 in a matchup of two of the top teams in Area III. The game avenged a 10-3 loss at Newman Park a night earlier and snapped Rowan’s five-game winning streak.

“Anytime you can beat a Rowan County team it feels good,” Davidson County coach Dale Moser noted, after his team improved to 9-4. “I think our team is pretty good and I think they are a pretty good team, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we met again later on down the road in the playoffs.”

Rowan (5-2) showed its firepower early and often against Post 8 starter Michael Horrell as it pounded 13 hits and built a 6-1 lead in the fourth. But Davidson started chipping away with a pair of runs off Rowan lefty Brandon White in the fourth to make it 6-3.

The game really started to unravel in the sixth as Post 8 scored three runs off White and reliever Harrison Bell to knot the score at 6-6. An RBI single by Nick Wiliams, plus a bases loaded hit batter and a pair of walks, did the damage.

Rowan’s slugging first baseman Chance Bowden righted the ship briefly in the top of the seventh when he towered a solo homer to deep center field (338 feet) in a spot where Giants legend Bobby Bonds used to hit them in his minor league days. It gave Bowden four hits and two RBIs for the night and gave Rowan the lead again at 7-6. But it would not last.

“Anytime you get 15 hits you kind of think you’re going to win a ballgame,” Bowden said. “So that is kind of a wow factor right there. We came out early and hit it well, but in the end, we couldn’t get anything to fall in.”

Credit for cooling down the Rowan bats went to Davidson reliever Tyler Sellars with 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief that earned him the win. Post 8 completed its comeback with a relentless four-run seventh that began with consecutive hits by Christian Dix, Colson Everett and Zach Queen that tied the score.

A one-out walk loaded the bases. Then the backbreaker followed on a hard grounder to third baseman Luke Setzer. His throw home was low and got away from catcher Michael Pinkston to allow Davidson to take its first lead at 8-7. Bell then hit the next batter to force in a run. Corey Fries came on in relief and Marcus Shoemaker greeted him with a high fy to left center and the famous steep inclined hill that is part of the unique character of Holt Moffitt. Michael Caldwell had made two outstanding catches on the bank early in the game but this time he slipped down and the ball dropped in to push the score to 10-7.

Rowan stopped the bleeding with their third double play of the night as Setzer made a diving stab, tagged third, then threw across to nip Williams at first. But any hopes Rowan had of coming back were quickly extinguished in the ninth by hard trowing righthander Jessie Juday. The UNC-Asheville commit faced the heart of the order and fanned Caldwell, Bowden and Riley Myers in succession to close out the win and earn the save.

“We were overmatched by their closer at the end,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt noted. “That was a quality arm there. But I also thought we chased a lot of pitches in the latter innings and weren’t very patient at the plate. We made a couple of miscues plus those hit batters and walks really hurt us. If you don’t play well you can’t expect to beat a good team like that.”

Rowan did get some quality hitting despite the loss as Bowden went 4 for 5 with two RBI, Harrison Baucom was 2 for 5 with two RBI while Myers, Setzer and Ryan Jones also had two hits each.

Davidson Post 8 ended up with 10 hits for the night led by Dix who was 3 for 3 while Williams and Colson Everett had two hits each.

Rowan begins a four game homestand tonight at Newman Park with a 7 pm game against longtime Area III rival Kernersville.

The boxscore will be in Scoreboard in Tuesday’s edition.

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