Legion doing well in division

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mocksville’s American Legion baseball team can not buy a non-league win but it rights itself when it matters – in Southern Division action.

That was the feeling following a 5-2 road victory over Mooresville on May 29. The outcome dropped Mooresville to 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the division, while Post 54/174 improved to 2-5, 2-0.

The stars were Paul Davenport and Jalen Scott. Davenport, a hitting machine, went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Scott pitched a complete game. Nathan Harrell also had a big hit.

Scott was terrific on the hill. He struck out three of four batters in the first. From the fifth through the ninth, he allowed one hit and two base runners.

“He pitched a gem,” assistant coach Todd Bumgarner said. “From the fourth inning on, he hit every spot I called. He was mixing it inside and outside and they didn’t have a chance.”

The future Winston-Salem State player finished with a six-hitter, no walks and 11 strikeouts, his first win in his first decision chopping his ERA from 4.50 to 3.31. He turned in four 1-2-3 innings. In 19 innings this season, he has one walk and 23 strikeouts. It was Mocksville’s first complete-game performance in 10 games. Scott had the last one in last year’s 7-6 win over South Rowan in game two of that best-of-three series.

The staff’s ERA without Scott’s numbers factored in is 11.30.

“That was a great pitching performance,” coach Charles Kurfees said. “When you get good pitching and work ahead in the count, good things happen.”

Mocksville got on the board first in the second inning, with Isaac Campbell’s single scoring Davenport, who started things with a single. Tanner Edwards followed Davenport with a double and Beau Byerly walked with two outs.

In the third, Mocksville broke free from a 1-1 tie. Ryan Harrell, Brandon Lankford and Edwards had walks to set the stage for Nathan Harrell, whose one hit in five at-bats was a big one – a two-run single to give his team a 3-1 advantage.

Mocksville extended the margin in the fourth. After R. Harrell singled with two outs, an error kept the inning alive. Then Davenport made Mooresville pay with a two-run double.

Mocksville’s offense didn’t do anything else, getting two hits in the final five innings, but Scott made sure the 5-1 lead stood.

Davenport reached base four times and raised his average to .458 (11 for 24). Neil Hutchins (1-5), R. Harrell (1-4), Edwards (1-4), N. Harrell (1-5) and Campbell (1-4) had one hit each.

Kurfees was not pleased with the bats. It was the fourth straight game that Mocksville scored five runs. It was 2-2 in those games.

“We left too many men on base,” he said after Mocksville stranded 11. “That’s something we’ve worked on in practice. We put a guy on second and try to drive him in with two outs. We’ve got to have better approaches. We left runners at second and third early in the game when we should have scored two or three more runs.”