American Legion baseball: Greene sparks Rowan victory

Published 5:07 pm Saturday, June 22, 2024



Staff report

SALISBURY — Nate Greene hadn’t pitched in so long, fans were worried that he was injured.

Greene is OK and proved to be quite healthy on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. Graham’s stellar relief appearance keyed Rowan County’s 7-3 win against Berkeley County, a team from the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia.

Greene, a Surry Community College teammate of  Luke Graham, Elijah Palmer and Matthew Connolly this season, put zeroes on the scoreboard in the fifth, sixth and seventh. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. He let one guy reach base, probably so he could practice his pickoff move.

That pickoff move proved successful.

Luke Graham had a two-run double in the first inning for Rowan County (10-9), but it was a tough fight for a while.

Lefty Connor Park started on the mound for Rowan. It was 2-all and two men were on base when Greene relieved Park in the top of the fourth. Greene allowed the hit that gave Berkeley (11-4) a 3-2 lead, but Greene (1-0) was lights out after that.

The biggest hit of the game for Rowan was Connolly’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fourth. That turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Rowan lead.

In the sixth inning, Rowan tacked on three insurance runs with two men out to give Greene a cushion. Connolly knocked one in with a double, and Nate Hayworth and Graham followed with run-scoring singles.

Connolly and Luke Graham drove in three runs each. Hayworth and Joe Burlesyon scored two runs each. Burleyson had the hit that started the three-run sixth. Brant Graham got on base in three straight plate appearances.