American Legion baseball update: Rowan wins four games in Shelby

Published 10:19 pm Sunday, June 11, 2023


Staff report

SHELBY — The offense had some dry spells and there were occasional defensive lapses, but Rowan County’s pitching was deep enough to win four games in three days in Shelby against quality American Legion baseball opponents.

Rowan won 4-3 against Queen City on Friday; prevailed 7-4 against Wayne County and 5-3 against Cleveland County on Saturday, and rolled 8-2 over Anderson (S.C.) in a rain-shortened game on Sunday.

JT Taylor’s clutch homer in the seventh against Queen City turned a loss into a victory and provided momentum for the whole “June Classic” weekend.

After playing 11 games in 10 days, Rowan gets to rest on Monday. Rowan plays a division game at Mooresville on Tuesday and will host Mooresville on Wednesday night at Newman Park at 7 p.m.


Friday: Rowan 4, Queen City 3

Rowan trailed 3-1 on a very quiet offensive night before rallying for three runs in the top of the seventh.

Elijah Palmer got on base in front of a two-out, two-run blast over the left-field wall by JT Taylor.

Starter Maverick Walters and winner Emory Taylor pitched well enough to keep Rowan in the game. Alex Hagler pitched an exciting bottom of the seventh for the save. Hagler got the final out with two men on base.


Saturday: Rowan  7, Wayne County 4

Rowan trailed 3-1 early, but a two-run homer by Morgan Padgett tied the game in the fourth. Rowan went 5-3 in that inning when Blake Hill doubled home a run and then scored on a wild pitch.

Wayne County nearly tied the game in the top of the fifth, but had a runner thrown out at the plate when Rowan executed on a relay from left fielder Hayden Simmerson to shortstop JT Taylor to catcher Matthew Connolly.

Hill added another run-scoring double as Rowan scored two insurance runs in the sixth.

Padgett was the starting pitcher and got the win with a lot of relief help from Joe Burleyson. Luke Graham got the final out with two men on base for a save.


Saturday: Rowan County 5, Cleveland County 3

Rowan scratched for a 2-0 lead on run-scoring groundouts by Cole Johnson and Hill.

Rowan scored three times in the sixth to make it 5-0. Palmer had a run-scoring single, and Rowan scored two on a throwing error.

Rowan needed that cushion, as Cleveland County got the bats going in the seventh and scored three runs.

Drew Burton pitched five shutout innings for the win. Simmerson picked up a save.


Sunday: Rowan 8, Anderson, SC 2

Rowan trailed briefly 1-0, but scored two runs in the second inning on consecutive hits by Padgett, Palmer and Simmerson and McNeely’s RBI groundout.

Two walks opened the bottom of the fifth, and Rowan turned it into a four-run inning to blow the game open. JT Taylor’s two-run double was the key blow.

Simmerson had two doubles and two RBIs. Logan Dyer had two walks, a hit and a sac fly in his four trips to the plate.

On the mound, Mikey Beasley worked two innings before being relieved by Johnson, who pitched three innings for the win. Graham pitched the top of the sixth shortly before rain halted the action.