American Legion baseball: Rowan County on a roll, wins 3 more

Published 3:40 am Monday, June 26, 2023


Staff report

SALISBURY — The Rowan County American Legion team trotted 10 pitchers out to the mound at Newman Park and won three more ballgames.

The chance for a memorable season is certainly there. That’s been evident since the day this group signed up.

Rowan boasts a 24-3 record after crushing Chatham County 15-1 on Saturday afternoon, coming back to beat Morgantown (W. Va.) 5-4 on Saturday night and holding off a no-quit Cleveland County squad 8-4 on Sunday.

It was a quiet weekend for lead-off man JT Taylor, other than scoring the decisive run in the exciting game against Morgantown.

But Rowan had no shortage of hot hitters, especially Morgan Padgett, who drove in eight runs in the three games. Blake Hill drove in five and scored six.


Rowan 15, Chatham County 1, Saturday afternoon

Rowan’s romp included an eight-run third inning explosion, and that inning included a pair of two-run doubles by Padgett.

The big inning also featured a three-run homer by Hayden Simmerson.

Hill and Aiden Schenck scored three runs each.

Corbin Bailey, Alex Hagler (3-1) and Joe Burleyson pitched in the five-inning game and were aided by three double plays.


Rowan County 5, Morgantown 4, Saturday night

Morgantown is always good, state runner-up in West Virginia in 2022, and provided a stiff challenge in front of a big crowd.

Morgantown launched a mammoth, first-inning homer and led 3-0 early. Emory Taylor relieved Maverick Walters and got the third out in the third inning with the bases loaded and kept Rowan from getting in a deeper hole.

A dropped fly ball opened the door for Rowan to get back in the game. Padgett singled home Rowan’s first run in the bottom of the third.

Two errors helped Rowan get back to 3-2. Cameron Burleyson and Luke Graham got clutch hits, and Rowan took its first lead when Hill scored on an error.

Simmerson (4-0) took the mound for the last four innings and finished for the win. He was overpowering and struck out seven.

Morgantown managed to tie the game 4-all against Simmerson in the top of the sixth with the help of an error, but Taylor charged home for the tie-breaking run in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch, just moments after being struck by a line-drive foul as he took his lead off third base.


Rowan County 8, Cleveland County 4

Drew Burton (3-1) allowed one run in four innings for the win. Cole Johnson (he’s back from the surgery to repair a broken nose), Graham and Padgett pitched an inning each.

Padgett’s inning — the seventh — was a little too noisy for comfort, but his bat had helped Rowan build a big enough lead to hold on.

Hill had a key double and a four-RBI afternoon, while Graham and Padgett knocked in two each.

Those RBI opportunities were set up by patience at the bottom of the lineup. Johnson, Zach McNeely and Emory Taylor got on base often and scored two runs each.

Rowan was cruising 8-1 when Cleveland County (13-5) got the bats going in the seventh. The visitors had six hits in the inning and scored three times. Rowan was fortunate to turn a double play in the midst of all those base hits.

Rowan will play its final six league games of the regular season in an eight-day stretch.


LEXINGTON — Kannapolis won 6-4 over Davidson County in nine innings in an exciting division game played at Holt-Moffitt Field.

Jalan Chambers swatted a tie-breaking homer in the ninth and had three RBIs.

Daniel Savage had three hits for Post 115.

Zack Helms, the third pitcher used by Kannapolis, earned the win.