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Legion baseball: Rowan falls in extra innings

Staff report

SALISBURY — Colby Hammer tripled in the ninth inning and scored on a wild pitch, as Randolph County beat Rowan County, 5-4, at Newman Park on Tuesday night.

The game lasted more than three hours.

Both teams, perennial powers in Area III, entered the game with gaudy records. Randolph exited with an 11-2 mark. Rowan, finally getting to play a game after a series of cancellations and postponements, dropped  to 12-4.

Rowan had some chances, but Randolph had a lot more. Randolph left 12 on base, leaving the sacks full in the second and the seventh.

Reliever Michael Molenda took a tough loss for Rowan. He did a fine job to extricate Rowan from a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh and pitched around a double in the eighth. But he couldn’t get through the ninth unscathed.

It was a non-division game, and Rowan played it like an exhibition. Rowan sluggers Wayne Mize, Luke Barringer and Bo Rusher sat down early, along with several more starters.

A standout for Rowan was Deacon Wike, who was outstanding in relief, striking out five batters. He shut down Randolph in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and gave Rowan a chance to come back.

Mize hit his third homer for Rowan in the first inning. With Rowan down 4-1 in the fifth, Steven Smith’s two-out hit scored a run to make it 4-2. Daniel Durham’s clutch, two-out-two-run double off the center-field wall got Rowan even in the sixth. It stayed that way until the ninth.

Bryson Wagner started on the mound for Rowan, but his night ended in the third inning. He didn’t allow a hit, but he was hurt by six walks. He struck out four.

Rowan also used Parker Lippard, Wike, Scout Nichols and Molenda on the mound.

Blake Marsh had a two-run single for Randolph to highlight a four-run third inning that was aided by three walks and an error.

Randolph got strong pitching from starter Braxton Davis, who took the game to the sixth, and Trevor Marsh, who earned the win.

The teams will play again tonight at McCrary Park in Asheboro.

Randolph     004   000    001   — 5   5   3

Rowan          100   012    000   — 4    4    3

W — Trevor Marsh L — Molenda.

HR — Rowan: Mize (3).

Leading hitters — Rowan: Mize 1-for-2, RBI; D. Durham 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Smith 1-for-3, RBI.

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