Legion coach files protest in loss at Concord

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Mocksville Senior Legion baseball team was sitting pretty in the Southern Division when it traveled to Concord on June 21. The landscape changed a bit when it suffered a 4-1 upset loss.

But coach Tristan Wyatt wasn’t too bothered by the defeat. He’s confident he’ll win a protest. He submitted a protest the following day because Concord added pitcher Gavin Norris to its roster on the day of the game.

Norris is a 6-3 righthander who is a rising senior at Mt. Pleasant. The talented arm made it a miserable night for Mocksville’s offense and dropped Post 174 to 3-2 in the Southern Division.

But we note again: Wyatt is optimistic the outcome will be reversed.

“We protested the game,” Wyatt said. “(Norris) was an illegal pitcher. The deadline is June 25, and that’s four days from today, obviously. But that deadline is for nonconference (games) only. The moment you play your first conference game, that sets and locks. Those 18 men are the only ones that can play for that team.

“(Norris) got added and pitched in a conference game. He turned in his paperwork today. He was a very impactful player, and that’s why this protest has to go down. That’s why I didn’t really have much of a reaction to the game. I just let it play. I told the boys at the end about it.”

Concord jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first. Mocksville cut the margin in half in the fifth, when Aundray Russell walked, stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch. Undaunted, Concord struck for two in the fifth to build the 4-1 cushion.

Mocksville did not threaten in the final two innings, finishing with just four hits against Norris, who walked two, struck out 10 and did not allow an earned run.

Riley Campbell took the loss, but he was pretty doggone good in a complete game. He spun a three-hitter, walked one and fanned 11. All four runs off the lefthander were unearned.

“Riley did really well,” Wyatt said. “It was like the scenario at Kannapolis – we had a couple errors at the beginning and that’s why they went up 2-0. Riley got down and I told him to just be himself. Then he settled in.”

There were only seven hits in a game that was all about the men on the mound. Caden Irvin (2-2) had half of Mocksville’s hits. Aaron Hutchens (1-3) and Russell (1-2, walk) had one each.

If the 4-1 score stands, Mocksville will fall to 8-10 overall and 3-2 in the division. This was its fourth loss in five games.