By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record
Mocksville’s 2-0 series lead couldn’t have tasted much better. But the once-sunny picture turned in game three, and rejuvenated Rowan County tied the series at 2-2 with a 10-5 win in game four at Newman Park on July 14.
Thus, the second-round, best-of-five series headed to a decisive game five.
Fifth-seeded Rowan evened its overall record at 17-17. No. 1 Mocksville (24-8) was 6-0 following a loss and suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time all season.
“We’ve made it to game five,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt told the Salisbury Post. “It feels a lot better than it did after two games. Now we’ve got our chance.”
There was no question in regard to the play of the game. Rowan center fielder Will Sapp robbed Karch Arey with a flashy grab in the fourth, keeping Mocksville’s lead at 4-3.
An inning earlier, Mocksville overcame a 3-0 deficit with three runs. Three walks helped the cause. Singles by Connor Bodenhamer and Ryan Foster were mixed in.
In the fourth, Will Beeson singled, Kirklin Bowles walked and Brice Merritt put down a sac bunt. Mocksville took the lead on Ross Hoffner’s sac fly.
With two outs and a runner at third, Arey creamed one to right-center. Sapp got on his horse, collided into the wall and held onto the ball. Sapp saved one run and maybe more. Arey would have had an easy double, possibly a triple.
The catch deflated Mocksville’s spirit. Brian Bauk, who went 3 for 5 with three runs and two RBIs, tied the game with a single in the bottom of the fourth, when Rowan generated three runs to roar in front 6-4.
“That (catch) was a real blow to us,” Bodenhamer told the Post. “We had the momentum. It was a terrific play. After that we weren’t as focussed. We relaxed and they got on us real bad.”
“I was worried it might go out,” Rowan pitcher Ethan Free said.
“That catch made it worth coming out here tonight,” Gantt said. “He jammed his shoulder but ...