Holshouser, Wagner pitch Rowan past Stanly, 5-2

Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

By Charles Curcio

Stanly News & Press

ALBEMARLE — One team Rowan County’s American Legion baseball team has had a great deal of recent success against is Stanly County Post 76.

That trend continued here Tuesday night at Don Montgomery Park as lefty Maddux Holshouser pitched Rowan to a 5-2 victory, his first mound win of the season. It was the second of a home-and-home series, as Rowan won on Saturday in Salisbury, 3-0.

Rowan now has a nine-game winning streak against Stanly. Rowan’s last loss to Post 76 was on June 4, 2015, an 8-2 non-league defeat.

Stanly has not beaten Rowan in a divisional game since two wins at the end of the 2012 season.

Holshouser picked up the win for Rowan (19-6, 5-2 div.) reaching the pitch limit in the sixth inning with two outs. He walked three and fanned seven batters, allowing two earned runs on five hits.

After Daniel Sell pitched to one batter in the sixth inning for Rowan, Bryson Wagner earned the save with a scoreless seventh.

Jordan Howard took the loss for Stanly (6-13, 2-5), giving up three earned runs on four hits. He walked five batters and had six strikeouts.

Rowan made the most of its opportunities in the game, including taking an early lead in the second inning. A walk and a Wayne Mize single led to a single run after a balk moved both into scoring position. Wagner then drove in Chandler Lippard with an RBI-groundout.

Holshouser did not give up a hit until the bottom of the fourth inning when Seth Grice singled to center. Cody Kidd followed with a single, then with two outs, designated hitter Jake Allen sent a ground ball into right field, scoring Grice.

A throwing error put Stanly up a run with the next batter, Will Dagenhart, at the plate. Allen was caught in a rundown between first and second on a pickoff attempt but the throw to second went wide, allowing Kidd to score.

Rowan immediately answered in the top of the fifth. John Owen led off with a long double to center field, before CP Pyle walked. Both scored when Hayden Setzer tripled to the corner in right field, putting Rowan back up, 3-2.

Howard ran into the pitch limit after six innings, bringing A.D. McRae on in relief for Stanly. Owen greeted him with a double, then later scored on a Clayton Gilmore single to left. Trevor Atwood added an RBI-sacrifice fly to give Rowan a three-run cushion, 5-2.

Wagner took over on the mound and walked the first two batters, but bore down and struck out the next two. The final batter, Lukas Scott, popped out to first on the first pitch of the at-bat, ending the game.

“Every game is going to depend on your pitching,” Rowan head coach Jim Gantt said. “Maddux gave us a great start but so did Stanly’s pitcher. He kept us at bay well.”

Gantt said Wagner made the seventh inning interesting but his two-seam fastball “is hard for hitters to hit. It gets on you a little quicker then it looks, velocity-wise.”

“We also had key hits, which were crucial,” Gantt added.

The win keeps Rowan right behind Kannapolis for first place in the Southern Division standings. Kannapolis’ 14-5 loss Sunday to Concord was the team’s first divisional loss.

Rowan hosts Kannapolis tonight at 7 p.m. Kannapolis’ game Tuesday against Mocksville was postponed due to the weather.

Rowan County     010   020   2 — 5    6   1

Stanly County      000  200   0 — 2    5   1

WP — Maddux Holshouser (1-2)   LP — Jordan Howard.

S — Bryson Wagner (1)

Leading Hitters — Stanly: Jake Allen 1-2, RBI; Seth Grice 1-2; Will Dagenhart 1-2. Rowan: Setzer 1-2, 3B, 2 RBI; John Owen 2-3, 2 2B; Luke Barringer 1-3, 2B.