Senior team splits DH
Published 10:44 am Thursday, July 23, 2020
Joe Gaither went the distance, walked no one and struck out seven as the Mocksville senior baseball team destroyed visiting Greensboro, 10-1, on July 18 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Mocksville bounced back from its darkest hour, a 14-1 loss to Davidson County the night before, with its second-largest win of the season. Gaither scattered nine hits and covered seven innings in 92 pitches, or 13 per inning.
“He’s pitched real good all year,” coach Charles Kurfees said. “(His record is 2-3 because) he’s pitched against some good teams. He can throw it hard at times and he throws strikes. If you throw strikes in this league, most teams are going to get themselves out.”
Gaither’s mound work only told half the story. Troy Clary built on his sensational stretch, going 4 for 4 with four runs, two RBIs and two doubles. This lifted Clary’s season average to .446 (25 for 56).
Clary’s double sparked a four-run first. After Aaron Williams’ sac fly plated Clary, Mocksville scored three more runs with two outs. The big blow was Josh Westmoreland’s three-run double down the third-base line.
Joe Johnson stayed hot by going 2-4. Mocksville got one hit from Williams (1-2, walk), Josh Spillman (1-3, walk), Westmoreland (1-4) and Logan Hosch (1-4).
This was the first meeting between the teams.
Johnson homered in the first and pitcher Wyatt Jester was cruising as Mocksville carried a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning (both games went seven innings instead of nine because it was a DH).
The end would not seem fair. Mocksville’s defense betrayed Jester and his team fell to pieces down the stretch, losing 8-2 in nightcap against the Red Wings.
Johnson’s homer was a two-run rocket to left-center. That gave Mocksville the 2-1 lead, and it stayed that way for a long time.
Greensboro’s leadoff man singled in the sixth, but Jester appeared to have him picked off. Didn’t happen, though. A throwing error let the baserunner off the hook, and that was the beginning of the end.
“We had him picked off,” Kurfees said. “We made a wild throw to (shortstop) Joe Johnson. We had him out. That’s where the snowball started.”
Later in the sixth, a 3-2 deficit grew to 4-2 on a throwing error as Greensboro scored three runs in the inning.
In the Mocksville sixth, it loaded the bases and failed to score for the second time. Then the Red Wings pulled away in the seventh as TJ Ash smashed a grand slam.
“The boy going to North Carolina A&T hit a home run over the right-field wall,” Kurfees said. “You don’t see many go out over there. He’s a freakin’ stud.”
Jester wound up allowing eight runs (six earned) in seven innings. Kurfees felt for his lefty because he gave it all he had and deserved better fate.
“Jester pitched a heck of a game,” he said. “They’ve got four players who are really good. I mean they are talented, and we should have beat them the second game, too. The score looks bad, but we would have never been in that situation if we make two plays.”
Troy Clary has been so hot that his 2-for-4 line in game two seemed like an off night. Johnson (2-4) kept rolling. He owns two of the team’s three homers. Aaron Williams (1-4) and Logan Hosch (1-3) had one hit, while Josh Westmoreland collected three walks.
Notes: Mocksville’s overall record is 9-9. … This was the sixth DH of the season. Five have resulted in splits.