Legion Baseball: Rowan takes 3rd straight
ASHEBORO — The Rowan County American Legion team won at Randolph County on Sunday afternoon, 6-3, and is off to its first 3-0 start since, believe it or not, 2009.
That 2009 game in which Rowan improved to 3-0 with a 19-5 win at Kannapolis was the “nosebleed game.” The only catcher on the Rowan roster that night was East Rowan jayvee Nathan Fulbright. When Fulbright’s nose started gushing, the umpire held up the game 10 minutes so he could recover. After the leak was repaired, Fulbright grabbed his mitt and Rowan romped.
Rowan County teams often have opened seasons short-handed over the years — that’s why Rowan had a one-catcher roster on Memorial Day weekend in 2009 — but this team has been at full strength since opening day.
On Sunday, Rowan County got five efficient innings from North lefty Joe Harrison, the Central Carolina Conference Pitcher of the Year and a Belmont Abbey signee. Harrison (1-0) hurled five shutout frames. He struck out two, walked one, and allowed just one hit — a harmless, two-out single in the second. Two balls were lined hard off of him in the fifth inning, but both were directly at Rowan fielders.
Rowan built a 6-0 advantage while Harrison was putting up all those zeroes.
Rowan got its first run in the third when Tanner File and Brycen Holshouser, the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, singled to start the inning. Chandler Blackwelder’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners. Griffin Myers got a run home with a groundball to the right side. Rowan left the bases loaded.
The big inning for Rowan was the fourth. With two men out, File, Holshouser and Blackwelder all got on base, and Myers’ two-run single up the middle provided a 3-0 lead. Lee Poteat then pounded a two-run double to the fence at McCrary Park for a 5-0 cushion.
Rowan’s final run came in the fifth when Olen Stamper and Pearce Wilhelm singled, and File’s third hit of the night made it 6-0.
Luke Barringer, Will Brown and Myers followed Harrison to the mound.
Brown relieved and got a big third out in the sixth after Randolph had staged a three-run rally. Myers took the mound in the seventh.
Things got interesting in the ninth after Myers walked two batters with two out and gave up a hit to load the bases, but he calmly got the final out on a flyball to Poteat in right field.
Myers had three RBIs, while File went 3-for-3 before sitting down early. Rowan again gave a lot of people a chance to play. A lot of people are trying to make the team.
Assistant Seth Graham again piloted Rowan. Head coach Jim Gantt plans to return from Texas today.
Randolph (4-5) has played a lot of games early, including a doubleheader on Saturday.
Rowan has added a game to the schedule and will play tonight at Area IV club Hickory at 7 p.m.
Rowan County 001 410 000 — 6 11 2
Randolph County 000 003 000 — 3 7 2
W —Harrison (1-0). L — Weary. S — Myers (1).
Leading hitters — Rowan: File 3-for-3, RBI, 2 runs; Stamper 2-for-3; Holshouser 2-for-4; Poteat 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Myers 1-for-5, 3 RBIs.
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