• 66°

F&M Bank Classic: Robinson beats South, advances to championship

By David Shaw


KANNAPOLIS — South Rowan picked a bad time to play its worst game of the season on Saturday.

The defending champion Raiders committed — sit down for this — nine errors in a 7-3 semifinal loss to J.M. Robinson in the F&M Bank Classic.

“We don’t play that way normally,” disappointed coach Thad Chrismon said at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, where South (10-2) had its seven-game winning streak snapped. “We did today.”

Call it a bad day at the office. The Raiders have spent the season’s first month surprising everyone but themselves, but had none of that mojo working against Robinson (7-4).

“They’ve had success all year, and always seem to do well in this tournament,” said winning coach Jason Sarvis. “But they didn’t have their best day and we took advantage of some of their mistakes.”

Robinson capitalized on nearly all of South’s miscues, scoring seven unearned runs in the first five innings against Raiders’ right-hander Austin Corriher. The first three runs crossed before Corriher could record three outs — thanks to a one-out walk, two infield errors and singles by Robinson’s Mark Perkins, Tyler Kocher and Jason Raper.

“We got off to a good start,” said Kocher, the winning pitcher. “But any time you can get any runs, anyway you can, that helps you out.”

Kocher, a junior with a snappy fastball, allowed just one earned run in five innings. He tiptoed through a minefield in the bottom of the first inning after South loaded the bases with one out, but escaped by fanning Eric Stowe and inducing Burke Fulcher to ground out.

Robinson padded its lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings before the Raiders got on the board in the last of the fourth. Fulcher lined a leadoff single to right-center field and moved to second when Colson Childers drew a four-pitch walk. With two away, Tyler Rary lifted a high, wind-blown popup that shortstop Seth Johnson misplayed for a run-scoring error.

Instead of rallying around the play, the Raiders continued to play defense like it was someone else’s job. Robinson extended its margin to 7-1 in the fifth inning, when its sandwiched C.J. White’s base hit and Kocher’s sacrifice fly around two more South errors, a walk and a passed ball.

“They had a bad day,” Sarvis said after South made a hasty, post-game exit. “We’ve all had days like that. That’s how baseball goes sometimes. I’m sure they’ll be able to regroup from this.”

South did make some late-game noise when it scored twice in the last of the sixth inning. Fulcher walked, Childers reached on one of Robinson’s four errors and Zach Tatarka was hit by pitch — loading the bases with none out and chasing Kocher.

Christian Fisher relieved and promptly surrendered one run on a passed ball and another when Rary’s grounder to short was misplayed. South put two runners aboard in the seventh frame against White, Robinson’s third pitcher. But a pickoff at second base and a line-out to right ended the debacle.

“It’s never a good time to play like that, ” said Chrismon. “Our goal is to get better every day. We didn’t do that today.”

Robinson  301 120 0 — 7  5  4

South Rowan  000 102 0 — 3  5  9

WP — Kocher (2-2)

LP — A. Corriher (1-2)



Salisbury man pleads guilty to importing opioids into Georgia through the dark web


Blotter: Sept. 28

Gold Hill

Planning Board votes against 574-acre Gold Hill solar farm after lengthy, lively meeting


RSS Board of Education appoints Marsh to fill vacant seat

Gold Hill

Planning Board considers controversial Gold Hill solar project

High School

High school baseball: South’s Kepley commits to Liberty


Insurance commissioner presents checks to Rowan County volunteer fire departments


October issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available


Novant Health fires more than 175 for not getting vaccinated


Cooper vetoes GOP bill that sought to weaken AG’s powers


GOP blocks bill to keep government going; new try ahead


California to mail every voter a ballot in future elections


Hospitals fear staffing shortages as vaccine deadlines loom


Rowan-Salisbury Schools extends mask mandate through Oct. 25


State data show majority of Rowan County residents vaccinated against COVID-19


Salisbury Police confirm seized rifle was used in 7-year-old A’yanna Allen’s murder

Ask Us

Ask Us: How will city of Salisbury spend American Rescue Plan funds?


Pelosi vows to pass $1T bill, move ahead on larger measure


Investigators probe deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana


Blotter: Salisbury man charged with statutory rape, indecent liberties, child abuse


Day Out With Thomas returns to Transportation Museum


Crowd converges on Salisbury for state pickleball tournament


After another court ruling against it, what’s next for voter ID in NC?


Rowan County Fair back in full force with rides, livestock, vendors