High school sports: Baseball teams, players were off to hot starts

Published 3:37 am Monday, March 16, 2020

By Mike London

SALISBURY — High school sports seasons are on hold at least until April 6.

Many Rowan baseball players and teams were off to scintillating starts, some surprising, some expected.

East baseball

Senior center fielder Wayne Mize was expected to be one of the county’s top hitters for new head coach Brett Hatley, but he was like a super-being from another planet in the early going.

In East’s six games, Mize went 9-for-16 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Senior catcher and lead-off hitter Charlie Klingler was on base in front of several of Mize’s blasts. Klingler had at least one hit in every game and batted .500 with nine runs scored.

East’s deep pitching was expected to a handful. The Mustangs (5-1) gave up three runs total in their last four games before the season went on hiatus. Four different pitchers have won games for East, with JD Basinger taking two decisions.

Carson baseball

The Cougars started 4-2, which isn’t a surprise. They’re always good.

The story has been junior right fielder Dylan Driver, who has been a force in Carson’s last four games.

In his last 11 trips to the plate, Driver has been perfect — three walks and eight hits. He had three bunt singles in that stretch. He also hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the eighth inning at Mount Pleasant in his last swing before Carson had to take a break.

Driver went 1-for-6 in Carson’s first two games, but he’s now sitting at 12-for-19 — that’s a .632 batting average — with 10 RBIs.

South baseball

South started the season 0-2 with a pair of losses to an Oak Grove team that might be one of the best in 2A.

But the Raiders bounced back last week with a 3-0 effort. South won two tough Central Carolina Conference games with Central Davidson, In between those CCC victories, South came back from a four-run deficit to beat previously unbeaten West Rowan in a non-conference game.

Salisbury baseball

Like South Rowan, Salisbury (3-2) also won its last three before the break,

Senior Parker Lippard had seven hits in his last three games to boost his batting average to .500.

West baseball

The Falcons’ 4-1 start was fueled by pitching.

Senior Cullen Davis’ 2-0 start included a shutout against Davie County. In 10 innings, he struck out 14 batters and didn’t allow any runs.

Sophomore lefty Casey Gouge also started 2-0. Gouge struck out eight in six innings and didn’t allow an earned run.

Senior Daniel Sell didn’t get any decisions, but he gave the Falcons 11 good innings and 11 strikeouts.

North baseball

The Cavaliers (2-4) stole 22 bases in the early going, including six by Jordan Goodine and five by Caelan Stinson.