• 70°

Salisbury wins F&M Bank Classic championship

See More Photos

more photos

By David Shaw


KANNAPOLIS — The display case at Salisbury High School is a little more crowded this morning.

That’s because the plugged-in Hornets’ baseball team out-slugged J.M. Robinson, 13-5, Monday night to win the school’s first F&M Bank Classic championship.

“We strung together the three best hitting days we’ve had since I’ve been at Salisbury,” coach Scott Maddox gushed at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, where SHS earned the victory. “We had double-digit hits just about every game. The best thing is, it was up and down the whole batting order. It wasn’t just two or three guys carrying us.”

Salisbury (9-3) scored 33 runs in three games and bulldozed its way to the title. Paced by the top three batters in its lineup — Will Steinman, Ryan Jones and Riley Myers were a combined 9-for-13 in the final — it leveled everything and everyone in its path.

“We’ve hit good all year, but this was special,” Jones, the winning pitcher, said after going 4-for-4 and reaching base five times. “One person can’t win a championship. We wanted this as a team and we went and got it.”

Salisbury collected 15 hits against four Robinson pitchers. Starter Angel Hernandez didn’t make it out of the third inning and reliever Christian Fisher was tagged for six earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Jones, a senior right-hander, worked his way in and out trouble. He allowed single runs in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings and persevered through six before Maddox pulled him.

“He got the job done,” said Steinman, Salisbury’s junior catcher. “He threw his curve and a lot of fastballs. The fastball was always there when he needed one.”

SHS scored three runs on balks, thanks to some nerve-rattling base-running. It trailed, 2-1, entering the last of the third inning when Steinman whipped a leadoff triple into the left-field corner and scored the tying run when Jones crunched the first of his two doubles. Moments later, Myers (3-for-5 with three runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases) grounded a run-scoring single into left. And with two outs, Salisbury’s Harrison Smith made it 4-2 with a sharp, RBI-single up the middle.

“He’s done that all year for us,” said Maddox. “He’ll go 1-for-4, but it’ll be a two-out hit with an RBI.”

There was more clutch hitting in the last of the fourth inning, when Salisbury scored four runs and batted around — all after Fisher retired the first two SHS batters. Balks turned a one-run lead into a 6-3 advantage before Alex Yang paddled a soft, run-scoring hit into left field. Teammate Alex Link then legged out a run-producing infield hit to make it 8-3.

In the fifth inning, Jones and Myers delivered RBI doubles and freshman Chandler Lippard steered a two-run single into left field for a 13-4 edge.

“When one person hits, we all hit,” said Jones, who joined Myers on the all-tournament team. “And once we jumped on them, we didn’t stop. Every time we needed a hit, someone got one.”

It was Myers who submitted the best closing argument. “We just don’t get down,” he said. “When we stay up, we’re as good as anybody. Winning this is awesome, but that was our plan coming in. We expected nothing less.”

Robinson  110 110 1 — 5  12  0

Salisbury  013 450 x — 13  15  2

WP — Jones (2-1)

LP — Hernandez (1-2)



Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301


Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map


Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers


One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list


No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road


RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years


Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet


Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament


Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina


House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot


Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?


Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road


Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges


Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting


Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest


N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding


RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured