Juniors unveil potent offense

Published 10:37 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mocksville Junior Legion baseball coach Tim McKnight unveiled a potent offense in Sunday’s season opener at Mando Field.

Mocksville pounded out 13 hits and never gave the Kannapolis Cardinals a chance, winning 16-1 in four and a half innings.

“They’re down a little bit,” McKnight said. “We’re out in front, and we should be. Eighteen out of our 19 guys we have right now are Davie County kids, and 17 of them played either JV or varsity (this spring). So these guys have been together. Last year I told you I thought we were a year away. We may not make the playoffs, but I think we’ll have a good year.”

Hunter Meacham was splendid during the Davie JV team’s 14-3 season, leading in average (.468), hits, extra-base hits and RBIs, and the cleanup man picked up where he left off on April 30, going 3 for 4 with a double and four RBIs.

“He was wearing it out (for Davie),” McKnight said. “He was our offensive star. He’s hit cleanup for me the last two years.”

Josh Westmoreland, Ethan Wilkins and Bailey McKnight rapped two hits each as Davie scored in all four at-bats, pushing across one run in the first, three in the second, eight in the third and four in the fourth. The game ended early via the mercy rule.

“And we hadn’t practiced since last Tuesday (May 15) because we couldn’t get on the field,” he said. “We only struck out one time. Our three, four, five and six batters (Joe Johnson, Meacham, Wilkins and McKnight) are probably not going to change a whole lot. We’re going to hit the ball. There’s just no doubt about it.”

Oh, let’s not forget two pitchers who combined on a two-hitter. Spencer Nifong got the win by going 3.2 innings, his lone run being unearned. He struck out the side in the first on 11 pitches. He walked three, struck out seven and faced 14 batters, or three over the minimum. His hot start was interrupted by a 30-minute rain/lightning delay.

Zach Rodgers set down four of five batters, including three on strikes.

“I think (the delay) set Spencer back a little bit because he walked the first two batters in the second,” he said.

Notes: Mocksville is expecting to soar past last year’s 10-12 mark. … This is McKnight’s fourth year at the helm.