Junior Legion baseball: South Rowan state runner-up
Published 11:15 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019
THOMASVILLE —South Rowan, a second-year program, came awfully close to being the first Rowan team to win a Junior American Legion state tournament.
South was one out away from winning it all on Wednesday afternoon at Finch Field, but R-S Central’s Cameron Hill stroked a two-run double to give his team the lead and an eventual 4-3 victory.
Luke Hiskey was the hard-luck loser. He pitched a complete game and didn’t allow an earned run. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Hiskey took a shutout and a 3-0 lead to the seventh, but that inning opened with back-to-back singles by the Hilltoppers from Rutherford County.
After two infield errors, the Hilltoppers had cut it to 3-1 and had the bases loaded.
The next two batters hit fly balls. The second one was deep enough to score a runner from third, and South’s lead was 3-2.
Hiskey got a strike on Hill, but then he hit his two-run double to center field.
South couldn’t score in the bottom of the seventh.
South (25-6) had lost to the Hilltoppers 12-11 in 10 innings in the first round of pool play, but had pounded Ahoskie and West Carteret to advance to the semifinals.
South won in eight innings against North Davidson/Oak Grove in a semifinal on Monday. Tuesday’s championship game was rained out, but the teams were able to play on Wednesday.
South took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Patrick Holden’s single scored Jackson Deal.
It stayed 1-0 until the sixth. Joseph James led off that inning with a double for South and scored on a hit by Hiskey.
Colby Renken ran for Hiskey. He stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored the run that made it 3-0 on a passed ball.
South had eight hits against Noah Harris, who pitched a complete game for the Hilltoppers.
R-S Central 000 000 4 — 4 7 1
South Rowan 001 002 0 — 3 8 5
W — Harris. L — Hiskey.
Leading hitters — R-S Central:Hayden Wheeler 2-for-3; Hill 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. South: Kane Kepley 2-for-4; Holden 2-for-4.
Junior Legion state champs
2001 — Fuquay-Varina
2002 — Cary
2003 — Snow Hill
2004 — Cary
2005 — South Caldwell
2006 — Cary
2007 — Kernersville
2008 — Cary
2009 — Mooresville
2010 — West Johnston
2011 — West Johnston
2012 — Cary
2013 — Mint Hill
2014 — South Caldwell
2015 — Davidson County
2016 — Rutherford County
2017 — South Caldwell
2018 — Windsor
2019 — R-S Central