• 54°

Rowan falters to Eastern Randolph

SALISBURY — One of the shortest books in history will be “Things Rowan County Did Right on Tuesday.”
Rowan hitters struck out 17 times in the American Legion game at Newman Park, and Rowan fielders made seven physical errors, plus some mental ones, in an 11-5 loss to Eastern Randolph.
The way things were going, you half-expected Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” to be off-key during the seventh-inning stretch.
“That was rough,” Rowan center fielder Harrison Baucom summed up, as fans filed quietly out of Newman Park.
As far as Rowan highlights, catcher Michael Pinkston had three hits, stole two bases and played well defensively. Travis Holshouser, the third of five Rowan hurlers, shut out ER in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before things got crazy in the eighth.
Blake Cauble, Mr. Popup, came out of the pen to get the last two outs, and at the end of the day, it was just one non-league loss, so no serious damage was done.
Teams have nights like this in baseball, even good ones, and Rowan coach Jim Gantt, handled the disappointment calmly.
“We’ve got to play good defense because we don’t have the pitching to overcome bad defense,” Gantt said. “When we mess up on defense like tonight, we’ll get hammered.”
It felt like a hammering, felt a lot worse than 11-5, because Rowan didn’t do anything offensively after a four-run second inning put the home team ahead 5-2.
ER starter Zach Burke was most of the story. His defense was pretty awful early, but once he settled in, he started mowing down Rowan hitters.
“It was like he needed 40 or 50 pitches to warm up,” ER coach Jerry Kidd said. “He just didn’t have a feel for his slider early in the game, but once he found it, he was good. Zach hung in there when we made mistakes early, and the team hung in there with him.”
Burke struck out 13 in his seven innings.
“He threw three pitches for strikes and he had a good slider,” Gantt said. “And we hurt ourselves by not swinging at strikes.”
Devin Sweet came behind Burke and fanned four in the eighth and ninth. He also starts for ER (7-4), but Kidd explained that there are a lot of off days coming up so he was available.
“We were able to use two of our best tonight,” he said.
Rowan starter Ryan Jones allowed two runs in the first and was replaced by Heath Mitchem for the second.
Michael Caldwell doubled to set up a Rowan run in the first inning. Then Rowan scored four times in the second when Pinkston and Caldwell whacked singles, and ER donated three errors, one HPB and a walk.
ER’s six-run third against Mitchem proved decisive, although three errors actually hurt him more than Post 81’s bats. An infield hit by Michael Matthews gave the visitors the lead for good.
Burke kept it. He was rolling by the fourth and started striking out two batters every inning.
“We’ve been facing a lot of guys who lived off their fastball, and we’ve been destroying them,” Pinkston said. “Both their pitchers threw hard tonight, but I thought the starter lived off his breaking ball. We were letting his fastballs go by, and then we were chasing the breaking ball.”
Rowan (6-3) messed up on a double-play ball in the eighth, and ER tacked on the game’s final three runs.
“We kind of went from good to awful,” Gantt said. “There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this one.”
Rowan gets a chance to bounce back at home against Kernersville Thursday.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza