50 years ago: Mocksville Babe Ruth baseball team goes undefeated

Published 1:04 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

A look back at Davie sports 50 years ago …

• When the Mocksville Senior Babe Ruth baseball team was 7-0 in the summer of 1973, it featured seven batters with .300-or-better averages, led by Randy McDaniel’s .500 clip and Paul Ijames’ .417.

The home-run leaders to this point were McDaniel and Robert Anderson with two each, and Anderson was the RBI leader with 10.

Mocksville’s stout pitching staff allowed three earned runs in the first seven games. Frank Snider was 3-0, Ijames 2-0 and Stan Riddle 1-0.

Coach Dale Ijames’ club completed a perfect regular season with a 4-0 win over Cooleemee. Riddle threw a one-hitter. (Kenny Shore had the lone hit for Cooleemee.) Craig Seaford had two hits as Mocksville rose to 9-0. Cooleemee was league runner-up at 5-4.

• Nine players from Mocksville and five from Cooleemee were selected to the Davie County all-star team. Anderson, Ricky Allred, Charles Blackwood, P. Ijames, Seaford, McDaniel, Snider, Jeff Ward and Riddle were selected from Mocksville. Getting selected from Cooleemee were Jeff Jordan, Ricky Glass, Steve Ridenhour, Shore and Randy Brooks. The all-star team was coached by D. Ijames, Zollie Anderson and David Whitley.

• The Davie County Babe Ruth All-Stars took a best-of-three series from Greenville (S.C.). McDaniel was the star in a 2-0 victory at Rich Park, pitching a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts.

In the first inning, Glass and Anderson got on base with singles. The first run was pushed across by Ridenhour’s sac bunt. Later in the game, Ridenhour singled, stole second and scored on Blackwood’s hit.

At Greenville, P. Ijames pitched a five-hitter with eight Ks and Glass pounded out three hits as Davie won 4-3. P. Ijames and McDaniel had two hits each. Glass and McDaniel blasted homers.

• With the district title on the line, the Davie all-stars played a series against Clark Griffith of Charlotte. Davie won the first game, 3-0, as P. Ijames hurled a three-hitter. Game Two went to Clark Griffith, with Joey Roberts throwing a no-hitter with 16 Ks in a 2-0 decision.

But Davie dominated Game Three and advanced to the state finals at North Buncombe High in Asheville. In the district championship game, McDaniel (five innings) and P. Ijames (two innings) did the pitching and Blackwood and Ward had three hits each as Mocksville exploded for nine runs. Blackwood had four RBIs and McDaniel had two hits.

• The Cartner’s Texaco men’s softball team captured the district title in Statesville, then won the area championship in Marion. Team members were Lloyd Blackwelder, Wayne Frye, Denny Cartner, Craig Ward, James Edwards, Sonny Kurfees, Donnie Davis, Larry Dean Carter, Jake Cornelison, Harry Lee Howell, Kenneth Howell, Ricky Lagle and Robert Rogers. The team sponsor was Claude Cartner.

• Twelve teams competed in the first-annual county-wide men’s softball tournament at Cooleemee. With 300-plus fans on hand for the championship game, with WDSL Radio carrying the game live, Fork Discount edged Ken’s Pool Room 3-2 in 10 innings.

The home-run trophy went to Ricky Allred of McDaniel & Son.

The Fork Discount team consisted of Foy Bailey, Don Bailey, Larry Bailey, Sammy Bailey, Grady Barney, Paul Beaver, Gregory Carter, Wayne Cassidy, Wayne Hamilton, Gary Dean Livengood, Craig Seaford, Kim Seaford, Frankie Williams, Tony Seaford, Eddie Wilkinson, Teddy Boger, Alton Markland and Monty Taylor.

• Davie’s varsity football team forced five turnovers and opened the 1973 season with a 21-7 win over West Rowan.

Davie overcame two key losses – Jeff A. Ward and Doug Quarles, starters on offense and defense. Ward was out with tonsillitis and Quarles injured a knee after gaining 33 yards on his first two carries. Marcus Wilson picked up the slack, rushing 11 times for 55 yards and scoring two touchdowns, one on a pass from Tom Eanes. Tom Anderson scored on defense by scooping a fumble and returning it 40 yards.

“We made few mistakes,” coach Bill Peeler said. “It is unusual to make so few mistakes in the season opener. I’m pleased and surprised.”

• Eanes, who hit 7 of 9 passes for 149 yards, tossed two TDs to Billy Clark and one to Tom Anderson as Davie defeated visiting South Stokes 21-6. Wilson ran for 78 yards on 12 attempts and Jeff A. Ward had two interceptions.

• In a 54-hole tournament on Labor Day weekend at Hickory Hill Golf and Country Club, Don Marklin was the first-place finisher. Wade Moody of Yadkinville was the runner-up. Lee Reel was third after winning a playoff against Bob Shelton, who recorded the only par round.

The first-flight runner-up was Craig Snead, followed by Gene Stiller, Gary Jordan and Mickey Adams. The top finishers in the second flight were Vernon Thompson, Ron Blackwelder, Hoyt Pope and John Guglielmi. And the top finishers in the third flight were Randall Ward, Don Cornatzer, Jerry Seager and Dave Springer.