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Area Sports Briefs: Rowan County starts crucial series tonight vs. Randolph at Newman Park

From staff reports
Rowan County hosts Randolph County tonight at Newman Park at 7 p.m. as the Area III semifinals get underway.
Both teams have 24-8 records. Randolph beat Mocksville 15-4 on Saturday to win that series, 3-1.
The winner of this best-of-five series qualifies for the state tournament that will be played at Wingate.
Rowan County beat Randolph County in the Area III semifinals last year on its way to the state championship, but Randolph got revenge as the Southeast Regional host, eliminating Rowan from the regional in the game that ended Rowan’s strong 2015 season.
Rowan has gotten huge offensive seasons from first baseman Hunter Shepherd (.400, 5 homers, 48 RBIs), right fielder Lee Poteat (.459, 29 RBIs, 24 steals), center fielder Chandler Blackwelder (.379, 42 runs) and DH Brandon Walton (.357, 34 RBIs).
Brandon White (6-0.2.25 ERA), Bryan Ketchie (5-1, 3.26 ERA), Sawyer Strickland (4-2, 4.02 ERA) and John Owen (3-1, 3.94 ERA) have led the pitching staff.

Intimidators win
GREENSBORO — Luis Martinez allowed just one hit over five innings, leading the Kannapolis Intimidators over the Greensboro Grasshoppers in a 1-0 win on Saturday.
Martinez (4-7) picked up the win after he struck out seven and walked one.
•••
The Intimidators announced the addition of pitcher Mike Morrison, the closer for Coastal Carolina’s national-championship team, to the roster.

Minor leagues
Relief pitcher Craig Brooks (Catawba) has been promoted from A ball with the South Bend Cubs to advanced A ball with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Brooks was outstanding for South Bend with a 2-1 record, five saves and an ERA of 1.39. Brooks struck out 42 in 32 innings.

College softball
Catawba pitcher Carley Tysinger and center fielder Kristen Stinnard were named to the All-State first team. Catawba shortstop Gina Gerone made the second team.

Local golf
SOUTHERN PINES — Salisbury’s Michael Childress shot a first-round 79 Saturday at the Trusted Choice Big I Junior Classic qualifier at Mid Pines Golf Club.
The state qualifier concludes today. The top four advance to the The Big I Junior Classic, Aug. 1-4, in Sacramento, Calif.
Jimbo Stanley of Raleigh paced the field on Saturday, firing a 4-under par 68.
•••
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Concord High School graduate Walker Cress is tied for 34th place at the Eastern Amateur Championship, after a even-par 70 for Saturday’s third round.
Cress is also even for the tournament, posting a 68 and 72 in his other rounds.
Pfeiffer’s Zach Weaver shot a 2-under par 68 yesterday and is tied with a group at 1-over, 37th place.
The tournament, which concludes today, is led by East Carolina rising senior Jackson Spires at 10-under.

West hoops camp
West Rowan Falcon basketball camp with coach Mike Gurley will be held on July 11-13.
Camp is from 9-1 and is for girls in grades 2-6 and boys in grades 2-9. Cost is $50. Campers get a Falcon T-shirt. Call Coach Gurley at 704-798-2074.

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