American Legion baseball: Taylor provides Father’s Day fireworks at Newman Park

Published 2:00 am Monday, June 19, 2023

Staff report


SALISBURY — On a Father’s Day Sunday night at Newman Park, every player wanted to hit a home run for dad.

Rowan County’s JT Taylor was able to deliver.

It was a stylish gift, a soaring blast off the scoreboard with the bases full of teammates for Rowan’s first grand slam of the season.

It was the fifth homer of the summer for Taylor and put an exclamation point on Rowan’s easy 17-2 romp against the shorthanded Greensboro Red Wings, who have played only a handful of games. Greensboro lost 10-0 to Randolph County on Saturday.

Rowan scored six runs in the first with only two hits. Taylor’s homer came during a nine-run third.

Greensboro pitchers — and there were a lot of them — combined to walk 11.

Rowan has stayed busy, has played 23 times and has won 20. Rowan is ranked second behind nemesis Randolph County (11-1) in the rankings that were released on Sunday.

Hayden Simmerson also turned in a memorable outing for the home team. He had a two-run triple in the first inning and two-run single in the third. He also finished the five-inning game on the mound, following Drew Burton, Corbin Hales and Joe Burleyson to the bump. He got the job done with not only his father, but both of his grandfathers, looking on proudly.

Luke Graham had three hits, but that’s not even news anymore. It’s news when Graham doesn’t get three.

Rowan will get some rest this week. Rowan plays at High Point on Tuesday — 6 p.m. first pitch at Finch Field — and returns to action for a four-game weekend at Newman Park.



Rowan County 8, High Point 1

SALISBURY – High Point, also shorthanded, managed to go the full seven innings, but Rowan took charge with a three-run bottom of the first that erased an early 1-0 High Point lead.

Morgan Padgett, Aiden Schenck and Simmerson had RBIs in the first inning, and Rowan took advantage of walks and HBPs.

Graham had three hits, including the two-run single that gave Rowan a 7-1 cushion in the third inning. Schenck whacked two doubles.

Emory Taylor and Morgan Padgett pitched very well in relief.

High Point made a flurry of outs on the bases. Blake Hill threw out two from right field.



Randolph County 4, Rowan County 3

SALISBURY — Tanner Marsh homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead Randolph County to victory at Newman Park.

Randolph overcame a 1-6-3 triple play that Rowan executed in the first inning after a soft liner back to the mound.

Randolph turned a critical 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and beat Rowan for the second time this season. Randolph also stopped a nine-game Rowan winning streak for the second time.

While there have been many lopsided games at Newman Park, this was a tight one and was played in a playoff atmosphere.

Marsh’s slugging enabled Post 45 to build a 4-1 lead and it held off Rowan, which got two runs in the sixth on RBIs by Elijah Palmer and Hill.

Alex Hagler pitched three innings and took the loss.

Three frontline Randolph hurlers combined to slow down Rowan’s offense.



Kannapolis (9-3, 2-0) is back in action after the graduation break and pounded Concord 10-0.

Joe Javier pitched a six-inning shutout. Daniel Savage led the offense with a 4-for-4 effort.