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Area Sports Briefs: Great performances by Marchinko, Shank

From staff reports
Carson senior Zachary Marchinko ran 9:18.64 in the Raleigh Relays at N.C. State and beat a longstanding county prep record of 9:21 set by West Rowan’s Jeff Hutchinson.
Marchinko, a Charlotte 49ers signee, finished eighth in the race in a fast field.
Mount Tabor’s Kenny Kneisel ran a meet record 8:57.77 to win the event.
Kenny Kneisel ran a 4:11.70 mile in the recent New Balance Indoor Nationals.

College track
Freshman Marshall Shank (East Rowan) broke a longstanding Carson-Newman record in the pole vault when he cleared 15 feet, 7 inches on Saturday in a meet at Winthrop.
Shank finished fifth in the meet and broke the Carson-Newman school mark that had stood since 1971.
Shank barely missed at 16 feet, 3 inches.
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Carson-Newman’s Tori Gaul (East Rowan) placed second in the pole vault in the women’s meet at Winthrop. Gaul cleared 12 feet, 1 1/2 inches.
Gaul, a sophomore, was an all-region pole vaulter as a freshman.
Gaul broke the school records as a freshman in the pole vault and the 400 hurdles.

Prep baseball
Action continues today in the East Rowan Easter tournament with three games.
North Rowan plays Central Cabarrus at 1. West Rowan plays West Iredell at 4. The Greater Cabarrus Stallions play East Rowan at 7 p.m.
The Easter Tournament at Intimidators Stadium in Kannapolis starts on Wednesday.
Carson plays the 11 a.m. game against Lake Norman.
Salisbury and South Rowan meet in the 4 p.m. game.
Northwest Cabarrus plays A.l. Brown at 6:30 p.m.
Robinson plays Parkwood at 1:30 p.m.

MLB
It’s been a tough spring for Detroit Tigers reliever Bobby Parnell (East Rowan), and it’s unlikely he’ll make the opening day roster.
Parnell , 31, has pitched in 10 games with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 8.68.
He has regained some of his old velocity, but he’ll likely get a chance to work on his command and control in the minor leagues at the start of the season.
•••
Jerry Sands (Catawba) is batting .200 for the Chicago White Sox this spring (9-for-45) with three homers and nine RBIs.
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Former South Carolina star Whit Merrifield (Davie) has had a good spring with the Kansas City Royals and is batting .353.
The 27-year-old is likely to make his major league debut this season.
Merrifield stole 32 bases and batted .265 in Triple A last season.
•••
Seattle’s Kyle Seager (NW Cabarrus, Kannapolis Legion) is having a strong spring and will again be the starting third baseman for the Mariners.
Seager, 28, is batting .319 with two homers and 13 RBIs in Spring Training.
•••
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (NW Cabarrus, Kannapolis Legion) enters the season as the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.Seager, 21, sprained a knee recently, but he played six innings Saturday and is expected to play six more today.

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