Seniors end skid

Published 9:46 am Thursday, July 30, 2020

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By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

The first game of a home doubleheader against Union County on July 25 was a continuation of a losing streak that began July 18, but in game two, the Mocksville Senior baseball team released lots of pent-up frustration in a much-needed win.

The first game was the resumption of a suspended game from July 10. It was grim from the beginning as the game resumed with Mocksville trailing 5-0 in the third. Union County went on to win 11-3 to push Mocksville’s losing streak to six.

Union County cracked four home runs and nearly doubled the hosts in hits, 15-8. Joe Johnson (2-4, walk) and Josh Westmoreland (2-4) had multi-hit performances. Beaven Arey (1-3, double), John Davenport (1-1), Bailey McKnight (1-3) and Brett Johnson (1-4) had one each.

Mocksville 11, Union 9

Ironically, the skid ended in game two against one of the most fearsome clubs in the NC3 league. Union County has numerous Division-I signees.

“They are one of the best teams in the state,” coach Charles Kurfees said. “That dude that is going to Virginia Tech hit a line drive over the right-center-field fence. It chipped the top of the wall. He crushed it. They have a pitcher going to Campbell. The other night at Rowan, somebody said he was pumping it in there about 94 (mph) and struck out 10 in four innings. Yeah, they are stacked.”

An offense that looked helpless during the slide, averaging 2.3 runs from July 18 through the first game against Union, saw the stars align at last.

In the fourth, Mocksville scored two to take a 5-3 lead. Ethan Wilkins walked, Ty Staz singled and both advanced on a wild pitch. Then J. Johnson delivered a two-run hit.

Mocksville (10-14 overall) took complete control in the fifth. Troy Clary, B. Johnson and Arey drew consecutive walks. One run scored on a passed ball, another scored on a wild pitch and the fifth run of the inning scored on McKnight’s single. Mocksville had a 10-3 lead.

Mocksville, though, watched the big lead vanish in the sixth. Union County put up six runs on three hits, two sac flies, a catcher’s interference, a hit by pitch, a walk and an error. Just like that, it was 10-9.

“We almost gave it away,” Kurfees said.

Mocksville held on for its first win since July 18 against Greensboro. That it nearly blew a seven-run lead mattered not one whit.

Davenport got the win after pitching five courageous innings against elite talent. He was backed up by three relievers. Wilkins got an out. (Two runs against him were unearned. Mocksville played with fire by committing five errors, compared to one by Union.) B. Johnson got two outs in six pitches. J. Johnson picked up the save by working a scoreless ninth.

“We kept them offbalance in the second game,” Kurfees said. “Davenport pitched really good.”

Staz (4 for 5, three runs) and J. Johnson (3-4, three RBIs, walk) did the heavy lifting for an offense that outhit Union 12-9. Wilkins was 2-3 with a walk. Mocksville got one hit from Williams (1-5), B. Johnson (1-3, two RBIs) and McKnight (1-3, walk). Clary contributed by drawing three walks.

“Staz and Arey were back (from vacation), thanks goodness,” Kurfees said.