Legion baseball erases huge deficit

Published 1:04 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

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The Mocksville Legion baseball team’s second win of the day was far from pretty, but it counts the same.

Mocksville erased nearly all of a six-run deficit. After digging another deep hole, Mocksville overcame a seven-run deficit to beat Huntersville 15-14. It was the second win of the day at Mt. Pleasant High on May 19 as Mocksville, which buried Maiden a few hours earlier, raised its record to 2-1.

Two newcomers for Mocksville’s Senior Legion team had a lot to do with it. Wil Cheek provided the game-tying hit in the sixth and Logan Hosch, the fourth Mocksville pitcher, got the win with a clean seventh.

Mocksville had dark thoughts after the top of the first. Six hits, including two home runs, allowed Huntersville to bolt to a 6-0 lead.

Mocksville sent eight batters to the plate in the second. Joe Johnson and Nick Ward had hits as Mocksville chopped the deficit to 6-4.

After Huntersville pushed its lead to 8-4 in the fourth, Mocksville came roaring back in the fifth. Patrick Usher blasted a two-run homer, Johnson singled and David Highman doubled as the local nine pulled within 8-7. It was Usher’s first homer of the season after he cranked two in 2018.

But Huntersville seemed poised for easy victory when it scored six runs in the top of the sixth. It sent 11 batters to the plate and blended four hits with three walks and a hit batsman.

Mocksville was staring at a 14-7 hole when it came to bat in the sixth. In a rally that was beyond belief, the inning ended with the game tied at 14. Most improbably, Mocksville came all the way back even though Huntersville turned a double play when it was 14-8. Then the floodgates opened: walk, walk, walk, Maston Renegar single, Hunter Bowles bases-loaded walk. Two runs scored on a wild pitch to make it 14-13.

Then Cheek etched his biggest Sr. Legion moment by doubling to tie the game at 14. What a time for his first Sr. Legion hit.

After three Mocksville arms gave up 12 hits, six walks, two homers and beaned six batters, Hosch was tasked with the seventh in his Mocksville debut. His second offering plunked a batter. Hosch shook it off and retired the next three batters.

Mocksville manufactured the clinching run in the last of the seventh. Ward reached on an error in the outfield, Usher walked on four pitches and Spencer Claus became the ninth batter to get hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out. Joe Johnson delivered the game-winning RBI by lifting a fly to left that allowed Ward to tag up and score.

That sealed the high-scoring game since Mocksville’s 16-13 home win over Kernersville on May 27, 2017.

Mocksville outlasted Huntersville despite getting outhit 12-9, partly because it had one error to Huntersville’s five.

Joey Szvetitz stayed hot, going 2 for 4 with three runs. He’s 7-12 in three games. Johnson was the other Mocksville batter with multiple hits, going 2-3 with three runs.