Legion baseball: Randolph shuts out Kannapolis, takes 1-0 lead

Published 11:13 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

Staff report

ASHEBORO — Bryce Marsh pitched a shutout for Randolph County in the opening game of a best-of-five Area III semifinal series on Thursday night at McCrary Park.

Randolph Post 45 beat Kannapolis Post 115, 2-0, behind Marsh, who struck out six, scattered five singles and didn’t walk a batter.

Marsh, a big right-hander, is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. He fanned 146 batters as a senior at Southwestern Randolph High and is headed to Pfeiffer University. Marsh mowed down the first 10 Kannapolis hitters he faced. He threw 73 of his 105 pitches for strikes

“He was good, and when a guy is that good you’ve got to take advantage whenever you get an opportunity,” Kannapolis coach Joe Hubbard said. “We didn’t get many chances and we didn’t get that big hit when we had guys on base.”

Kannapolis’ best chance came in the fourth inning when it was still scoreless. One-out hits by Lane Argabright and Devin Faggart put two men on and Jacob Tuttle was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Marsh retired Cord Butler and Chase Orrock, the No. 5 and No. 6 hitters.

In the fifth inning, trailing 1-0, Kannapolis had another shot. Rohan Handa and No. 9 batter Austin Dayvault had hits in the inning. Kannapolis (15-9) had two out and two on when Argrabright stroked a liner to right field. Randolph’s Trevor Marsh made a diving catch to end the inning.

“He laid out for it, made a heck of a catch,” Hubbard said. “If he doesn’t catch that ball, the game is tied, and if it gets by him, we might take the lead.”

Kannapolis starter Ryan O’Kelly did a nice job for five innings. He allowed seven hits. He gave up two runs. One was earned.

Randolph (20-14) punched across single runs in the fourth and fifth. O’Kelly’s throwing error chase home the first Randolph run. Dawson Painter’s double and Trevor Marsh’s single provided the second run.

“O’Kelly gave us a chance, did all we could have asked,” Hubbard said. “You h0ld Randolph to two runs in five innings, you’ve done your job.”

Jack Robinson pitched a scoreless sixth for Kannapolis.

Trevor Marsh was the only player with more than one hit in the game. He had two.

“We played a pretty good ballgame, a quick ballgame,” Hubbard said. “But they got the two-out hits and we didn’t. That was the difference.”

Kannapolis will try to even the series at home tonight at 7 p.m. at Northwest Cabarrus High. Handa, a tall southpaw who is headed to Yale, will pitch for Post 115 tonight. He’s 6-1.

Game 3 is set for McCrary Park on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Jason White, SPC Pitcher of the Year, is the probable hurler for Kannapolis in that one. White is 4-1.

NOTES: Hubbard said Michael Harrell, one of the standouts for Post 115, wasn’t in action because of a “cut hand.” He said Harrell won’t be able to swing a bat in this series, but he’s optimistic he could pitch. Harrell has been a key reliever as well as a slugger.  … “It was a well-played game,” Post 45 coach Ronnie Pugh told the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. “We saw Kannapolis real early when neither team had our teams set. This is a very good team.”

Kannapolis  000  000  0    —   0   5   2

Randolph   000   110    x   —  2      8    0

W — Bryce Marsh. L —  O’Kelly.

HR — None

Leading hitters — Randolph: Trevor Marsh 2-for-3, RBI.