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Legion baseball: Rowan County loses exciting opener

Staff report

LEXINGTON — Bo Rusher’s three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning gave Rowan County temporary hope, but Davidson County finished the job in the bottom of the seventh.

Carson Simpson, a North Davidson grad who plays at Wingate, had a walk-off hit with two on and one out in the bottom of the seventh to decide Sunday’s season-opening American Legion contest. He lifted Davidson County to a 7-6 victory at Holt-Moffitt Field.

Davidson County was in control most of the game behind pitcher Drew Wright, who pitched into the seventh inning but go no decision.

Rowan County took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. North Rowan standout Jordan Goodine picked up an infield hit in his first Legion at-bat. Then JT Fecteau, a sophomore catcher at West Rowan,  socked a run-scoring double. Cameron Graham, a returner from last season, delivered a two-out single to score Fecteau.

Rowan County starter Daniel Durham, a West Rowan lefty who signed with Catawba, allowed an unearned run in the second inning. Then Davidson took a 3-2 lead in the third inning with North Davidson sluggers Taylor Stewart and Jackson McAllister driving in runs with two-out hits. The third out came at the plate when Stewart tried to score from first on McAllister’s double.

Davidson County’s three-run fourth inning expanded the home team’s lead to 6-2 and knocked out Daniel Durham. He was replaced by East Rowan hurler Corbin Durham.

Corbin Durham pitched into the sixth. Scout Nichols relieved and got the last out in the sixth.

Steven Smith, who had a strong sophomore season at West Rowan, singled to start the top of the seventh. Andrew Kennerly, who played mostly on West Rowan’s jayvee team, walked, and Rowan had two men on. Chandler Lippard, one of last year’s stars for Rowan County has been playing on East Carolina’s club baseball team. He singled to left to cut Rowan’s deficit to 6-3. That hit finally knocked out Wright, who had a terrific season at West Davidson.

Ledford lefty Tyler Smith was called on to pitch to Rusher, a lefty hitter playing in his first Legion game. A Salisbury senior who signed with Gardner-Webb, Rusher promptly crushed  a three-run homer to tie the game at 6-all.

But Rowan couldn’t add any more runs.

Merritt Beeker and Drew Rabon produced singles against Rowan reliever Michael Molenda in the bottom of the seventh to set the table for Simpson’s game-winning blow.


NOTES: Davidson second baseman Landn Hilbourn made a diving stop in the fourth inning on ball hit by Rusher. It probably saved two runs. … Rowan plays on the road again tonight at 7 p.m. at Greensboro. Greensboro Post 53 led all the way and beat Eastern Randolph 6-3 in Ramseur on Sunday. … Rowan is off Tuesday and returns to action against Concord at Mount Pleasant High on Wednesday. … Seth Graham and Adam Patterson coached Rowan in Sunday’s non-league game, as Jim Gantt’s Catawba team is still alive in the Division II playoffs. … Mocksville won twice on Sunday, beating Huntersville and Maiden. … South Rowan’s Junior Legion team smacked Salisbury 18-3, while A.L. Brown’s Junior Legion team beat Stanly 8-1.


Rowan County         020  000   4   — 6    10   2

Davidson County     012   300    1   — 7    13   0

W — Smith (1-0) . L — Molenda (0-1)

HR — Rowan: Rusher (1).

Leading hitters — Rowan: Goodine 2-for-3. Davidson: Jake Brown 2-for-2, RBI; Simpson 2-for-5, 2 RBIs.








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