American Legion baseball: Rowan County loses at Mocksville in extra innings

Published 9:07 am Sunday, June 2, 2024


Staff report

MOCKSVILLE — American Legion baseball was sloppy, but also exciting on Saturday night in Mocksville.

Mocksville overcame a 5-0 deficit and beat Rowan County 7-6, with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

A short-handed Rowan squad got pitching from Evan Koontz and Drew Burton (0-1) that was good enough to win some nights, but but Rowan made some errors and Mocksville produced key hits in the seventh and eighth.

Rowan (1-4)  managed its  best offensive output of the season. Rowan, which had mustered four runs — total  — in its first four games, put together a five-run top of the second that included a two-run single by Luke Graham, but Rowan didn’t get another run-scoring hit the rest of the way.

Mocksville lefties Riley Campbell and Myles Crocker provided some free base runners for the visitors at Rich Park’s Mando Field, but they were tough to hit.

Mocksville has pieced together a team with players from many schools and is getting a number of players from Winston-Salem. Mocksville is coached again this year by South Rowan graduate Shaggy Wyatt.

In the second inning. Rowan enjoyed some temporary success against Campbell, who had a stellar senior season at Forbush. Brant Graham and Cole Price had singles. Eli Graham reached on an error with one out to load the bases. Gaige Scruggs walked to force home a run.

With two men out, Luke Graham came through with his two-run single for a 3-0 lead. Rowan scored its fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch and added a fifth run when Southern Smith-Tilley was picked off first base, but stayed in a rundown long enough for Luke Graham to score from third.

That 5-0 lead was short-lived, as Mocksville got right back in the game with three runs in the bottom of the second. Two singles combined with a hit batsman, a wild pitch, an error and a balk to do the damage against Koontz.

Koontz struck out four Mocksville batters in the fourth (one of those strikeout victims reached), but he ran into trouble in the fifth. After a double by Cooper Whitley and a walk, Burton moved over from third base to provide relief. Burton got two outs, but Crocker’s two-run single tied the game at 5-all.

Scruggs had an infield hit and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth to put Rowan ahead 6-5.

Burton successfully protected the lead in the home sixth, but Mocksville tied the game in the seventh with a lead-off double by Russell and a run-scoring single by Bryson Morrison.

Rowan failed to score in the top of the eighth,. In the bottom half,  Evan Hyde got on base, worked his way around to third and scored on a walk-off wild pitch.

Rowan is scheduled to play High Point at home on Sunday night.