American Legion baseball: High Point finishes sweep of Kannapolis

Published 7:55 am Sunday, July 16, 2023


Staff report

THOMASVILLE — High Point Post 87 finished a sweep of Kannapolis on Saturday at Finch Field.

High Point won 5-4 in eight innings in an exciting Game 3 to close the series. Kannapolis had the lead going to the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t finish it off. High Point tied the game with an unusual run in the seventh and pulled it out on a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

High Point won the first game of the Area III semifinal series 3-1 at Northwest Cabarrus and the second game 5-1 at Finch Field and will be one of the two Area III representatives in the state tournament. The Rowan-Randolph series winner will be the other one.

Pitchers Tanner Kaler, who pitched into the seventh and struck out eight, and Brett Morris gave Kannapolis a chance to win.

High Point (17-3) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Kannapolis got back to 3-2 on Jaden Johnson’s two-run triple in the fourth.

Kannapolis tied it at 3-all in the sixth when Jalan Chambers stole third base and headed home when the throw got away.

Kannapolis (17-8) forged ahead 4-3 in the top of the seventh when Daniel Savage drove in a run with his third hit of the game. He had half of Kannapolis’ six hits. Brooks Hubbard scored the run.

High Point tied it in the bottom of the seventh when a baserunner was able to advance on a passed ball and then on a pair of swinging third strikes that weren’t caught. The catcher had to throw to first to record both outs, and the baserunner moved from second to third on the first one and scored on the second one to tie the game at 4-all.

In the bottom of the eighth, Devin Villaman lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Bryce Hooker with the decisive run.

Kannapolis had a young team, with a large South Rowan High contingent that had no seniors, and should be a factor again next summer in Area III.

High Point, coached by former Catawba slugger Luke Spiva, will play in the Area III championship game vs. the Randolph-Rowan survivor on Thursday, July 20.

High Point will begin play in the state tournament at Campbell University on Tuesday, July 25.