American Legion baseball: Rowan home on Friday for championship game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Staff report

SALISBURY — Rowan County American Legion fans will get to see one more home game.

Rowan will be the host team for the Area III championship game on Friday. Rowan will take on a hot Randolph County Post 45 team at 7 p.m.

Both teams already have qualified for the state tournament. This is a single game for a trophy, a title and for seeding in the upcoming state tournament.

The teams also plan to play a game on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at  Randolph County. That game won’t determine anything, but it will be good preparation for the state tournament. Rowan has quite a few pitchers who haven’t been in live action for a long time.

That’s because Rowan (33-7) was a forfeit winner over Eastern Randolph in the Area III semifinals.

In the other Area III semifinal, Randolph (28-7) was a buzz saw against Kannapolis, combining great pitching with powerful hitting and sweeping 11-1, 12-0 and 15-2.

The field is still being set for the state tournament, which will use a pool-play format. The tournament will be played July 26-30 in Jim Perry Stadium at Campbell University.

Rowan, which last won the state in 2016, and Randolph, which won its most recent state title in 2017, will represent Area III, while host Fuquay-Varina, the defending state champion, and Pitt County will represent Area I.

Area IV and Area II will have two representatives each in the eight-team field. Playoffs are still in progress there. Cherryville, the Gaston Braves, Queen City and Rutherford County are still alive in Area IV.

Randolph is assured of advancing beyond the state tournament, as it will again host a regional at McCrary Park.

The eight-team Southeast Regional will be played on Aug. 3-7 with a double-elimination format. State champions from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina will join Randolph County in the field, along with the South Carolina runner-up.

Eight regional champs will advance to the Legion World Series, which will again be played in Shelby.

The World Series will be played on Aug. 11-16 and will use a pool-play format. Teams will play three pool games, with the top two advancing from each pool to the semifinals. Semifinal winners play for the championship.

Rowan County was national runner-up in 2016, while Randolph County reached the semifinals in 2017.

No North Carolina team has won the Legion World Series since Charlotte Post 9 in 1965.

Rowan County will play a team of former Legion stars tonight at Newman Park at 6 p.m., with an “old-timers game” following.

Concessions will be sold. Cost of admission is reduced.