Legion baseball: Kannapolis beats Randolph County 18-16 …. seriously
ASHEBORO — The Randolph County American Legion team scored in each of the first five innings at McCrary Park to take a 9-3 lead.
But Kannapolis wasn’t done.
The Towelers took a 14-9 lead to the bottom of the seventh.
But Randolph wasn’t done, either.
The result was a mind-blowing game on Tuesday that lasted four hours. Kannapolis won 18-16 in 10 innings, with Cale Oehler’s two-run homer providing the decisive blow.
This was Game 1 of a best-of-three playoff Area III semifinal series. Kannapolis will host Game 2 tonight at Northwest Cabarrus. The winner of this series plays Rowan County or High Point for the Area III championship. Both Area III finalists will qualify for the state tournament in Cherryville.
Kannapolis (10-4) finished with 18 hits, with Jake Dameron, Blake Anderson, Jacob Foggin and Oehler getting three each. But everyone had a hand it, from Cole Pletcher, who scored four runs, to Michael Gracer, who walked four times, to Chase Ervin, the No. 9 batter who drove in three.
Tatum Marsh and Blake Marsh had three hits each for Randolph (15-6). Tatum Marsh hit Randolph’s only homer. Randolph had 16 hits.
Randolph Post 45 scored three runs in the bottom of the first and had expanded its lead to 9-3 when Kannapolis came to the plate in the sixth.
That’s when Kannapolis put together six hits and five walks to score eight runs and turn things around.
Kannapolis went up 14-9 heading to the bottom of the seventh, but Randolph rallied for five to send the game to extra innings.
Neither team scored in the eighth. Both teams scored two in the ninth.
Kannapolis finally settled it in the 10th. Dameron walked and was on base in front of Oehler’s homer.
Randolph put the tying runs on the base in the bottom of the 10th, but Luke Anderson, Kannapolis’ fourth pitcher, got a flyout to end the game,
It was Luke Anderson’s first win of the season and Oehler’s first homer. Defiinitely one for the books.
Kannapolis 100 028 302 2 — 18 18 3
Randolph 311 310 502 0 — 16 16 3
W — L. Anderson (1-0). L — Fordham.
HR — Kannapolis: Oehler (1). Randolph: Tatum Marsh.