Juniors split doubleheaders

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

There was a pattern to the Mocksville Junior Legion baseball team’s three doubleheaders against West Forsyth’s two teams.

Mocksville tore through West Forsyth Green all three times. West Forsyth Blue, on the other hand, did not let Mocksville breathe in all three meetings.

On June 10 in Clemmons, Mocksville faced the Blue in the first game of the DH. The hits were nearly even – West had eight to Mocksville’s seven – but Post 174’s four pitchers issued 13 walks and WF Blue led throughout in a 13-8 decision.

Mocksville had to be its best self to pull off the upset, and it made a game of it in the top of the third. With his team behind 6-0, Jesse Willard doubled, Joe Barnes singled and Brayden Carter doubled. After Luke Foster walked, Joakim Rose singled as Mocksville cut the deficit to 6-4.

The visitors’ momentum was brief, however. In the home half of the fourth, West turned its 7-5 lead to 11-5, and that was that.

“They are pretty good,” coach Blake Little said. “They have a few guys that played for West Forsyth’s varsity team, so they’ve got a good squad.”

On the bright side, Carter went 3 for 4 to raise the dynamic third-place batter’s average to .444.

“He has been hitting the ball hard all season,” Little said of the team’s No. 1 hitter in terms of average.

Willard (1-5), Barnes (1-3, two runs, walk), Foster (1-3, walk) and Rose (1-3, two runs) had one hit each. Here’s an eye-catching stat for you: Rose stole five bases.

“When he’s on deck or anytime he’s not hitting, he’s paying attention to the pitcher and their timing,” Little said.

Of Mocksville’s four pitchers, Nick Cannon was the only one who held West off the scoreboard. He walked two in his one inning of work, but he struck out two and didn’t allow a hit.

Mock 9, WF Green 1

In the second game of the DH, Mocksville overpowered West Forsyth Green.

Post 174 wasted no time putting the home team in a deep hole, scoring five runs on four hits and two hit batsmen in the top of the first. Foster’s double was followed by Westin Vestal’s two-run triple. Rose and Charlie Young added singles.

Willard (2-5, double) and Rose (2-4) led the way as Mocksville outhit the Green 9-2. Carter (1-3, two RBIs), Foster (1-4, double, two RBIs), Vestal (1-3, walk), Dashel DesNoyers (1-4) and Young (1-3) had one hit apiece. Barnes reached twice and scored twice.

Foster (.360) and Rose (.350) owned the second- and third-best averages at this point in the season.

“Luke continued to have a good middle/back approach, and he’s just terrorizing it,” Little said. “(Rose is) doing about everything on offense and he plays anywhere on defense. He pitches good in relief. He’s just a Swiss Army knife.”

The pitching was equally dominant for Mocksville. Junior Vazquez went three innings and allowed one unearned run. DesNoyers struck out seven in three hitless innings. And Andrew Pope got West three up, three down in a span of 10 pitches.

“We brought (DesNoyers) in just to eat some innings, but he was electric,” Little said. “He was pumping gas and throwing a nasty … I don’t know if it was a slider or a curveball or what it was. He got a few ugly swings on it.”

Kann 8, Mock 0

Nothing good happened at Kannapolis on June 12. Mocksville had more errors (five) than hits (four) and watched Post 115 score in five of its six at-bats.

Kannapolis has outscored Mocksville 19-1 in two meetings.

DesNoyers (1-3), Willard (1-3, double), Barnes (1-1, two walks) and Evan Shore (1-3) had the hits. DesNoyers, who pitched in relief, gave up two runs in 2.2 innings, but both were unearned.

Mock 12, WF Green 2

The home doubleheader with West Forsyth on June 14 went as you would have predicted. Mocksville’s offense posted crooked numbers in all five innings, led 8-0 before WF Green could scratch and eased to a five-inning rout.

Mocksville has outscored the Green 31-6 in three matchups, and three of its four wins have come at the Green’s expense.

Barnes (2-4, two RBIs), Foster (2-3, homer, three RBIs, three steals) and Vestal (2-2, walk) accounted for six of Mocksville’s nine hits. Willard (1-3, four runs, double), Shore (1-2, double) and Dylan Garwood (1-1, two runs, walk) had one each.

On the bump, two arms combined for a no-hitter. Joshua Whitaker struck out five in three innings before Willard finished up the final two innings.

WF Blue 18, Mock 5

Game two was the opposite. West Forsyth Blue exploded early and often and dropped Mocksville’s record to 4-8. The Blue has outscored Mocksville 39-13 across three meetings.

DesNoyers (1-2, two runs, two walks), Carter (1-3, two RBIs) and Vestal (1-2, two walks) had the three hits on the losing side. Mocksville’s three hurlers surrendered 12 hits and nine walks.