Loyd lights out in Legion win

Published 1:25 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Dan Loyd stepped up big time and the Mocksville Legion baseball team evened its record at 2-2 with a 2-1 payback win over Mooresville on May 26 at Rich Park.

Before joining Mocksville, Loyd was a part of a historic run by North Iredell High in the 3-A playoffs. Not much was expected when the Raiders entered the playoffs with a 12-11 record – after finishing sixth in their conference with a 6-8 mark. But they shocked the state by marching to the fourth round.

Then Loyd made his Legion season mound debut against visiting Mooresville, two nights after Mocksville lost 14-10 to the same club. He was lights out while tossing a two-hitter and facing 27 batters in seven innings.

“All my starting pitchers have been great so far,” coach Tristan “Shaggy” Wyatt said. “Our record (2-2) doesn’t show it yet, we’ll get there. Dan has a weird arm motion and an old-school leg kick.”

Aundray Russell got Mocksville going in the bottom of the first. He doubled, stole third and scored on a groundout by Andrew McAllister, a senior from Reagan who is headed to St. Andrews. Then Bryson Morrison doubled and Dakota Green walked. Shawn Sealey’s bloop hit over the first baseman made it 2-0.

The guy who set that first inning in motion, Russell, is a senior from Atkins. He helped the Camels to a winning season in high school ball.

“He’s been getting on base and his legs do the rest of the work,” Wyatt said. “He’s fast. When he gets on base, more than likely he’s going to steal second.”

Up 2-0, Mocksville leaned on Loyd the rest of the night. How electric was the righthander? He carried a no-hitter into the seventh.

“I had heard he can pitch and this performance really opened my eyes,” Wyatt said. “I didn’t notice (the no-hitter) until the sixth inning, and I tried to keep my mouth shut. I looked at my assistants and said: ‘This boy has a no-hitter going.’”

The first batter of the seventh broke up the no-no. Then an error put Mocksville in some trouble. But with two on and nobody out, Loyd got a strikeout and a flyout to Russell in center. With runners at the corners, he struck out the last batter on three pitches.

“He might be my No. 1 guy,” Wyatt said after Loyd finished with three walks and eight Ks.

Mocksville’s six hits came from Russell (1-3), Morrison (1-3), Loyd (1-3), Sealey (1-3), JD Swink (1-3) and Tyson Combs (1-2). McAllister had two walks.