American Legion baseball: Cruise control for Rowan County
Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022
SALISBURY — Efficient right-hander Jake Blevins had four 1-2-3 innings as Rowan County rolled 7-0 against Mocksville at Newman Park on Tuesday.
Blevins was all over the place in the top of the first, hitting one, walking one and allowing a double, but Rowan County turned a double play to get him out of trouble.
After that, Blevins, a Pfeiffer recruit, found his command and took matters into his own hands. Mocksville, which fell to 4-6 in the Southern Division of Area III, didn’t get its second hit against Blevins until the sixth inning.
Blevins (5-1) struck out six, walked two and needed only 63 pitches to handle six innings. As is usually the case, he got lots of outs on one or two pitches.
Drew Burton pitched a quick seventh to finish off the visitors.
Rowan (23-7) won its eighth straight game and moved to 7-0 in the Southern Division, although there are still two games to play against a strong Kannapolis team that has one division setback.
The only negative for Rowan in its latest triumph was a top-of-the first injury to catcher Cam Burleyson, who went down chasing a pop foul.
Catching has been a real strength for Rowan with Burleyson and Matthew Connolly, a pair of All-Rowan County catchers, rotating.
With Burleyson, Rowan was also able to use Connolly on the mound some.
The seriousness of Burleyson’s injury wasn’t immediately known, but it’s a concern. He had to be helped off the field.
Blevins got all the run support he needed in the bottom of the first. Cole Johnson opened with a double. Jackson Deal lined out, but Aiden Schenck walked before Blake Hill, Zach McNeely and Casey Gouge produced consecutive run-scoring singles for a 3-0 lead. Hill extended a long hitting streak that is approaching 20 games.
Rowan made it 6-0 in the second. Luke Graham got the inning rolling with a lead-off two-bagger. Deal hit a sacrifice fly, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Schenck knocked in a run.
After an offensive dry spell for Rowan, Schenck doubled to start the sixth. Fly balls by Hill and McNeely moved him around the bases.
Rowan had 12 hits and played errorless defense.
Rowan plays at Mooresville tonight.
Mocksville 000 000 0 — 0
Rowan Co. 330 001 x — 7
W — Blevins (5-1). L — Sink.