Wild slugfest; Juniors win 14-12

Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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Some unreal stuff happened in the Mocksville Junior Legion Blue baseball team’s Southern Division game at Concord on June 18.

A breezy victory seemed certain when Mocksville built an 8-1 lead. Mocksville looked doomed when it faced a 12-8 deficit.

But after watching Concord score 11 unanswered runs, Mocksville – drumroll, please – somehow persevered and won 14-12.

It was another giddy moment for Post 174, which pulled out a 2-1 win over Concord three days earlier in its first division game.

But while Parker Simmons, Jackson Sink, Bentley Moody and Mocksville high-fived their way to 2-0 in the division, coach Tim McKnight considered it a halting victory.

“Quite honestly, the game should have never been that close,” he said. “We’ve got some work to do. We’ve got to figure out some things. But I think we’re going to be competitive all year.”

Mocksville scored three in the top of the first and four in the second. Sink’s two-run double in the second lifted Mocksville ahead 7-1.

Concord came roaring back in the third, sending 14 batters to the plate. Five hits, four walks, a hit batsman and two errors later, Mocksville’s 8-1 lead had been flipped into a 10-8 deficit.

“We should have been out of it (before Concord scored nine),” McKnight said.

Things continued to go sideways in the fourth. A walk and two errors helped Concord score two runs without the benefit of a hit. Despite trailing 12-8 with only six outs left, Mocksville came up blackjack. It sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring six runs on five hits, two walks and an error.

The rally started with walks by Dane Porter and Colt Wright. With one out, Craig McBride reached on an error. That was the break Mocksville needed because a hit parade ensued. After Simmons and Sink singled, Matthew Beshears legged out an infield hit to load the bases. A strikeout made it two outs with Concord clinging to a 12-11 lead.

Then came the biggest hit of the game, a two-run knock to right-center by Moody in his only at-bat of the night. Porter came up for the second time in the inning and singled to make it 14-12 Mocksville.

“It snowballed on them,” McKnight said. “Their top of the sixth was sort of like our bottom of the third.”

Sink, the third pitcher for Mocksville, was immense. Not only did he got 2 for 4 with two runs and four RBIs, he got the win by tossing four innings with one hit allowed, one walk and five strikeouts. Both runs off him were unearned. Of his 57 pitches, 40 were strikes.

He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 of 17 batters. The season has been a rocket ascent for the rising junior at Davie. “He is definitely our ace,” McKnight said. “He’s a shutdown kind of guy. He’s pretty sharp. He’s a pretty good athlete.”

McKnight added: Sink’s double was a “moonshot to dead center. It was a rocket.”

There was more to this win than Sink. Simmons went 2-5 with three runs. Every player reached base at least once, including McBride (1-3, three runs, two walks), Hunter Daywalt (1-2, walk), Beshears (1- 1), Jonathan Dzybon (1-4, double), Caleb Stewart (1- 3), Moody (1-1, two RBIs), Porter (1-3, walk), Wright (walk, hit by pitch) and Carson Queen (walk).