By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record
The Mocksville Legion baseball team is on its way to the first Southern Division championship since ... or is it a bit too early to start talking like that?
With eight games to play, it is indeed a little early. But it’s true that Mocksville is in the driver’s seat in a quest to win the division for the first time since 1993.
Mocksville overwhelmed visiting Statesville 16-7 Sunday to move to 8-2 in the division. Second-place Kannapolis is 10-4 and the Mooresville Legends are 6-4. Mocksville can’t relax, though. Last year it started 8-2 and finished 13-5, one game behind champion Rowan County.
But in Sunday’s wipeout, Mocksville unleashed an offensive barrage that was a long time coming. It put up the most runs and hits (17) in 31 games, dating to last year’s 17-2 rout of the Legends.
Blink, and you missed a five-run explosion in the first inning. Five guys batted before Statesville starter Brett Pope, who exited after the first, recorded an out.
Karch Arey (walk), Connor Bodenhamer (hit by pitch), Corey Randall (double), Jacob Walker (two-run double) and Ryan Foster (double) got things off to a blazing start. After Statesville finally got an out, Will Beeson banged a run-scoring single.
Just in case you arrived a little late, Mocksville obliged with a series of encores, scoring in every inning but the second.
The barrage was a positive sign for a team that came in hitting .269. Mocksville was averaging 9.1 hits and 6.5 runs before notching its fifth two-game winning streak of the season. The goal now is to record the first three-game winning streak.
You would think Kurfees had little choice but to hand out a collective “A” on this night’s report card. Nah, he was hard-core about it and gave his troops an “A-”.
“If we would have hit with men on base, we would have 10-run ruled them,” he said of stranding 12 runners.
There were terrific lines up and down the order. Arey (2-3, two RBIs, two walks), Randall (3-5, four runs, two RBIs, two doubles, walk), Walker (4-5, five RBIs, double, homer), Foster (3-6, two RBIs, double), Beeson (2-3, two RBIs, walk, hpb) and Brice Merritt (2-2, three walks) all enjoyed productive games.
Arey is hitting .352. “He is still a big sparkplug for us (in the leadoff spot),” Kurfees said.
Randall’s numbers are about as good as they get. He’s hit safely in all 15 of his Legion games, and he’s hit in 38 of 40 games counting his senior year at Davie. He’s 6 for 9 over two games to lift his average to .393.
“Man, Corey Randall can hit,” assistant coach Todd Bumgarner said.
Walker is in a zone. He belted his first homer, and it was a tape-measure shot to left. He’s up to .359 ...