Area Sports Briefs: High Point has been tough for Rowan in recent years
From staff reports
In American Legion baseball, Rowan County Post 342 will open an Area III semifinal series against High Point Post 87 on Monday at 7 p.m. at Newman Park.
Randolph County starts the other Area III semifinal series against Davidson County at McCrary Park on Monday.
The semifinals are best-of-five and are the key playoff series. Winning an Area III semifinal series means qualifying for the state tournament.
High Point (6th seed) and Davidson (7th) were the two bottom teams in the Northern Division in the regular season but both have played much tougher in the playoffs.
High Point (13-14) has eliminated Stanly County and Eastern Randolph and is 5-1 in the playoffs.
Stanly was the Southern Division’s No. 3 seed, while Eastern Randolph was the Northern Division’s No. 2 seed.
Rowan (27-1) has had its hands full against High Point in recent years.
In 2011, High Point beat Rowan in the Area III championship series, although as Area III runner-up, Rowan still advanced to the state tournament in Morehead City.
In 2012, High Point won a decisive fifth game in an Area III semifinal series and ended Rowan’s season.
In 2015, Rowan beat High Point in the Area III championship series and topped High Point again, 4-3, in the final game of the state tournament at Newman Park.
In 2016, High Point won a best-of-three Area III championship series against Rowan, but Rowan recovered from that loss to win the state and regional tournaments and eventually finished as national runner-up.
Counting regular-season meetings, Rowan is 7-11 against High Point in the last eight years.
Area III championship, best-of-3 series starts July 16
State tournament (Greenville, July 21-26)
Southeast Regional (Asheboro, Aug. 2-6)
World Series (Shelby, Aug. 10-15)
Little League softball
The Rowan Minor League All-Stars won against Jackson County, 4-0, in the state tournament in Huntersville.
Campbell Schaen pitched a one-hitter. Ashley Yang and Kennedi Fisher had two hits each.
Leading 1-0, Rowan scored three runs in the fifth to pull away.
Team members are Ella Wilkinson, Lauren Vanderpool, Cadence Lane, Schaen, Taylor Keller, Ella Doby, Ellasen Arden Nance, Chloe Shank, Emily Murphy, Avrelle Harrell, Andie Evans, Olivia Polson, Fisher and Yang.
Rowan plays a semifinal game today against Wilmington at 1 p.m.
In the district tournament in Pfafftown, Rowan Little League’s Senior Division all-stars (ages 13-16) rolled against Northwest Forsyth, 11-0, on Saturday.
Kary Hales had three hits. Tate Barger, Kali Morton, Hannah Roberts and Ally Young had two each. Roberts had a bases-clearing double.
Team members are Lucia Barbon, Barger, Lauren Coughenour, Hales, Morton, Roberts, Megyn Spicer, Aubrey Tuell, Ellie Wilhelm, Ellen Yang and Young.
The team is managed by Rob Hales. He’s assisted by Shane Morton and Jimmy Roberts.
Rowan plays in the district final today at 2 p.m.
East Rowan’s game with Concord in the Area III championship series was washed out on Saturday night and rescheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. at Staton Field.
Bryan Blanton (Catawba) got his first save on Saturday in the Gulf Coast League.
A New York Yankees draft pick, Blanton hasn’t allowed a run in four relief outings. He’s struck out five with no walks.
Colton Laws (Carson) pitched two scoreless innings for the Bluefield Blue Jays on Saturday and struck out two batters.
Laws’ innings are being limited after a long college season at Charlotte, but he has three straight scoreless outings to his credit.
The Kannapolis Intimidators were rained out on Saturday.
They’ll play a doubleheader against Hagerstown today, starting at 3 p.m.
Craig Brooks (Catawba) pitched an exciting seventh inning for the Tennessee Smokies in Saturday’s 5-4 win against Chattanooga.
Brooks walked two but struck out three. He’s had six straight scoreless outings in Double-A.
Wood bat leagues
Fond du Lac pitcher Connor Johnson (East Rowan, Catawba) is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA and has 34 strikeouts in 29 innings.
He’s been named to play in the Northwoods League All-Star Game.
Luke Setzer (East Rowan, Catawba) is batting .286 with three homers and 16 RBIs for the Gastonia Grizzlies.
Michael Elwell (Catawba) is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA for the Springfield Sliders of the Prospect League.
Davie County outfielder Garrett Chandler, a rising sophomore, has committed to East Carolina.
Mid. school football
China Grove Middle School will begin summer workouts for seventh and eighth-grade players on Monday, July 10, from 8-10 a.m.
Bring a copy of a physical if one is not already on file.
Meet at the football field behind the school. Call Coach Crawley at 704-224-1909 for more information.