Local sports roundup: Legion state tournament starts today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Staff report

Rowan County’s American Legion baseball team will play at 1 p.m. today in the state tournament at Campbell University.

Memories 1280 will broadcast the action from Jim Perry Stadium.

Players arrived on Monday for orientation and a dinner.

Rowan’s first opponent in pool play is Pitt County. Pitt County (20-6) beat Rowan (35-7) earlier this season.

The programs have met twice previously in the state tournament, with Pitt County winning in 2018 and Rowan winning in 2016.

Pitt County won the state championship in 2005 when a double-elimination format was in place. Pitt County lost an early game, but beat Lexington twice on the final day of the event.

Rowan’s other “Stripes” pool opponents will be Wilmington (18-8) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and Queen City (21-7) at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

In the “Stars” pool are Fuquay-Varina (21-5), Hope Mills (16-10), Randolph County (27-9) and Cherryville (25-12).

Queen City plays Wilmington at 10 a.m. today to get things started.

Two teams will advance from each pool.


Belleview is the Florida state champ, while Columbia, a perennial power, won the Tennessee state championship.

Those Legion teams have qualified for the Southeast Regional that will be hosted by Randolph County Aug. 3-7.



Former Kannapolis Legion player Corey Seager has gotten hot for the Texas Rangers in July and now has 23 home runs.


Minor league baseball

It’s been an up-and-down season for St. Louis Cardinals prospect Austin Love (West Rowan, UNC), but the big right-hander, a third-round pick in the 2021 draft, has pitched well in July.

Pitching for Peoria, Ill., in High-A ball, Love put together dominant starts on July 2 and 8. He totaled 14 innings, allowing one run on six hits and three walks. He struck out 12.

Love is only 5-8 and his ERA is still really high, but he’s getting a lot of strikeouts, with few walks, a good sign moving forward.

In three July starts, he’s struck out 20 with four walks.


Showcase baseball

Morgan Padgett (East Rowan) put together a monster game for the South Charlotte Panthers, driving in six runs with three hits in a 19-2 victory in the 17U National Championships.

Three locals contributed to the Panthers’ 5-4 win against Ohio Elite on Monday, with Chance Mako (East Rowan) hitting a two-run double. Padgett and Haiden Leffew (South Rowan) had hits for the Panthers and scored runs.

Leffew, a Wake Forest commit who is a rising senior at South, was clocked as high as 93 mph recently and was consistently throwing 88 to 91.


Local golf

Troy Hammond made his first ace over the weekend at Warrior on No. 12.


Nick Lyerly (East Rowan, UNC Greensboro) is preparing for the Western Amateur.

The tournament will be played on Aug. 1-6 in Highland Park, Ill.

Also coming up this summer for Lyerly is another U.S. Amateur.

He’ll be part of a 312-man field in Paramus, N.J.

Two days of stroke play on two courses will trim the field to 64 for match play.


Showcase softball

Carson rising senior Lonna Addison had a two-homer game for her Carolina Elite team over the weekend.

West Rowan rising junior Emma Clarke is hitting homers in California for her Carolina Impact team.

West will look forward to her joining the volleyball team in a few weeks.


Junior Legion softball

Rowan County and South Rowan have had strong seasons and will be playing in the state tournament in Marion.


Little League softball

Rowan Little League hosted the Southeast Regional tournaments for Juniors (14U) and Seniors (16U).

Irmo, S.C.,  prevailed in the Junior Division with a 17-1 rout of the Florida champs and heads to the World Series in Kirkland, Wash.

Fort Myers, Fla., won the Senior Division by thumping the Virginia champs 11-0 and goes to the World Series in Sussex, Del.