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Legion baseball: Rowan beats rival Randolph County

 Staff report

SALISBURY — It won’t make any difference in the standings, but whenever Rowan County and Randolph County, two of the top programs in Area III, get together for an American Legion game, it’s always reasonably exciting.

Rowan employed five pitchers and won 8-5 in Saturday night’s non-division game at Newman Park. Randolph used four hurlers.

Trevor Marsh homered in the first inning for Randolph, the game’s only long ball.

Rowan’s second inning proved decisive. Daniel Durham’s double got it started.  CP Pyle and Steven Smith drew walks. Rowan scored the tying run when Durham came home on a wild pitch. Jordan Goodine broke out of a slump with a two-out, two-run single that turned out to be the game’s key hit. It put Rowan ahead to stay. When Cole Hales came through with another two-out hit to plate Goodine, Rowan led 4-1.

Randolph (15-5) used back-to-back doubles by Colby Hammer and Easton Morgan to score a run in the fourth, but then Rowan answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Singles by Pyle and Zeb Burns and a walk to Goodine loaded the bases. Hales, who went 3-for-3, singled for a 5-2 lead. Luke Barringer’s two-run single boosted the lead to 7-2.

Leading 7-3 in the sixth, Rowan (18-6) tacked on an insurance run on Bo Rusher’s run-scoring single.

Braxton Davis had a two-run single for Randolph in the seventh, but Goodine caught a line drive in left field to end the game.

Pyle made the defensive play of the game, hauling in a drive to deep center as he banged into the fence in the second inning.

Rowan used Daniel Sell, Jonathan Spry, Parker Lippard, Goodine and Wayne Mize on the mound. Spry pitched three innings and won his fourth straight decision, as Rowan bounced back from Thursday’s loss at Mooresville.

Rowan gets back into Southern Division play on Sunday night at Newman Park when it takes on Mocksville at 7 p.m. Mocksville knocked off Stanly County, 7-6, on Thursday.

Randolph County    100 110   2   — 5   6   0

Rowan County         040  301  x   — 8   9   0

W — Spry. L — Hunter Hill.

HR — Randolph: Trevor Marsh.

Leading hitters — Randolph: Morgan 2-for-2, RBI; Davis 1-for-2, 2 RBIs. Rowan: Hales 3-for-3, 2 RBIs; D. Durham 1-for-2; Pyle 1-for-2; Goodine 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Barringer 1-for-4, 2 RBIs.

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