Davidson Scorches Mocksville
The Mocksville Legion baseball team’s offense has been more than coach Charles Kurfees could have hoped for. The team is hitting .326, averaging 9.4 runs and no fewer than nine guys are hitting at least .307.
As sparkling as the attack has been, it hasn’t been able to make up for the pitching/defense side of the equation. And pitching/defense has been mostly dismal, allowing 9.9 runs per game.
On May 30 at Mando Field, Mocksville gave up the most runs in 58 games as Davidson County emerged with a 16-11 decision. It was the most runs allowed since an 18-8 loss to High Point in 2012.
While Davidson improved to 7-4, Mocksville sank to 3-7.
But it was Mocksville that seemed to have things in total control after two innings. Getting seven hits in the second, Post 174/54 roared from a 1-0 deficit to a 6-1 lead.
Jacob Barnhardt, Colby Cranfill, Tati Shibota, Charlie Muchukot, Ross Hoffner, Sawyer Davis and Drew Weibley had hits during the barrage.
But Mocksville would only manage five more hits the rest of the game. Everything went wrong from the time a two-run home run keyed Davidson’s three-run third.
Mocksville would get scorched in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Davidson tied the game at 6 in the fifth. A six-run tidal wave in the sixth put Mocksville in a six-run hole. The sixth hit of the rally chased starting pitcher Cranfill (1-2), and Dustin White pitched the final 3 1/3.
Davidson’s second homer of the game, a three-run shot, made it 15-6 in the seventh. A double and single made it 16-6 in the eighth. Mocksville avoided a mercy-rule ending in the eighth. Davis walked with the bases full to keep the game going, and Weibley followed with a grand slam to left. Just like that, it was 16-11.
Davidson finished with – yikes – 20 hits.
Muchukot went 2 for 4 with two walks. Hoffner (3-5) and Weibley (3-5, five RBIs) had three hits each. Weibley’s second homer tied him with Kyle Mehl for the team lead.
Mehl was out with a broken finger that is expected to sideline him for a week or two. It’s a big loss. Mehl is hitting .394 with a team-high 15 RBIs to go with his two homers. He also has a seven-game hitting streak.
The seven guys who are hitting between .307 or better are Muchukot (.441), Hoffner (.410), Collins (.394), Mehl (.394), Davis (.363), Weibley (.333), Elijah Jones (.323), Barnhardt (.321) and Jose Carrillo (.307).
SR Gets Payback
On May 28, the Mocksville Legion baseball team left South Rowan in the dust.
The teams met again the next night, and it was a downer for Mocksville. South didn’t have any defensive gaffes, and it played drastically better to beat Mocksville 8-7.
South improved to 3-2 and ended a five-game losing streak to Mocksville, which fell to 3-6.
Mocksville held a 5-2 lead in the South sixth, with two outs and no one on base. But the hosts fell apart at that moment and never recovered.
“We blew it,” coach Charles Kurfees said of South’s five-run sixth. “The bullpen couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead with two outs. We’ve got to find somebody who can come out of the bullpen and pitch.”
Mocksville took a 2-0 lead in the fifth and moved in front 4-1 in the third on Kyle Mehl’s two-run homer. It followed a single by Nick Collins.
Michael LaLonde pitched the first five innings and left with the 5-2 lead. Reliever Brian Nellis retired the first two batters in the sixth, but an unexpected South uprising wrecked everything.
Back-to-back singles were followed by a walk. A grounder should have ended the inning with the score 5-2, but an error kept South going. Two more singles and a walk ensued as 10 batters came to the plate. When the dust cleared, it was 7-5 South.
“We had them beat,” an irritated Kurfees said. “We never recovered.”
Jose Carrillo doubled and came around to score as Mocksville inched within 7-6 in the sixth. A South double off the left-field wall restored South’s lead to 8-6. Mocksville answered with a run in the eighth.
Colton Laws, an absolute force on the mound who is headed to East Carolina, slammed the door in the ninth. Laws was making his 2014 Legion debut when he came on to face the 3-4-5 batters in the Mocksville order (Mehl, Sawyer Davis and Elijah Jones). He set down the side in order to get the save for Blake Johnson, who pitched 6 1/3 innings.
“I knew they had the middle of the order up, so I was just trying to keep everything low around the knees,” Laws told the Salisbury Post.
Three Mocksville pitchers gave up 10 hits and compounded things by issuing 10 walks. Mocksville had one more hit than South, getting two each from Collins, Mehl, Ross Hoffner, Carrillo and Jacob Barnhardt.
Collins (.416) extended his hit streak to nine. Mehl (.394) got his team-high second homer and pushed his hit streak to seven.