Prep Baseball: North Rowan 10, Gray Stone 0
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER ó In an effort to keep his teamís no-hitter in tact, North Rowan shortstop Dakota Brown turned to his left, leapt off his foot and fired to second base in the last out in the top of the fifth.
The throw, like everything else Brown and his teammates did against Gray Stone, was on target, completing a dazzling effort for the forceout as he displayed the same accuracy as he did throwing a scoreless frame in the previous inning.
Brownís all-everything night, which included a pair of hits and stolen bases, ended with scoring the winning run on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, completing a 10-0, five-inning victory for the Cavaliers. North had five pitchers team up to throw a no-hit shutout as Josh Price, Dusty Agner, Matt Laurens, Brown and Tyler Blume all pitched worry-free innings as the Cavs kicked off a busy sports weekend for North fans.
ěI kind of got a late jump on it, but I got it,î said Brown of his defensive gem, which was as close as Gray Stone got to a hit. ěI was pretty much throwing from my knees.î
Devin Russell hit one between third and short that required Brown hustle to his right and throw in the opposite direction.
ěThat was a heck of a play,î North coach Aaron Rimer said. ěOne shot to get íem and he fielded it clean and threw it clean. Thatís a great play.î
No matter who North put on the mound, they kept the Knights out of harmís way, not letting a runner into scoring position. The Cavs showed little rust from not having played in a week in the early-season clash. After having its showdown with Lexington postponed earlier in the week, North (2-1) saw a chance to get most of its hurlers some work in against the Knights (0-3).
ěWe got rained out against Lexington and I told them they were going to get some work in,î Rimer said. ěGive me what you got that one inning.î
The Cav pitchers were two walks short of a perfect game and generally overpowered Gray Stone, with the Knights not forcing more than 17 pitches in an inning. Price, a senior and staff ace, started the game with a 15-pitch first that included a strikeout, groundout and flyout. Laurens blew through the third, needing only nine pitches, striking out one.
Matt Mauldin doubled twice and had an RBI single in the first inning that blooped into shallow right. Alex Morgan had put North up for keeps two batters earlier on an RBI single.
ěIn the first inning, we tried to really get aggressive,î Rimer said. ěIt worked out once and it backfired a couple times, but it was something we were going to work on out of the gate.î
ěDefensively, we made some great plays.î
Pitcher Wes Hubbard tossed a complete game for Gray Stone, surrendering 12 hits and walking two. Hubbard had to work around five errors by his defense.
Agner tossed a 1-2-3 second for North and Laurens delivered an RBI triple in his lone at bat to score Josh Mock. Laurens later scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0 after two.
Brown doubled with one out and, after a Gray Stone error, Morgan drove in his final run on a sac fly to left that ended the night with one out.
ěI was just trying to work the count and put the bat on the ball,î Brown said.
In the fourth, North scored one on a sac fly from Tyler Wyatt and a pair on an infield error on a hard hit ball from Feezor.
After pounding South Davidson 14-4 last Friday, the Cavs have outscored its opponents 24-4 in the last two games after falling to South Stanly 3-2 in the season opener.
ěI like that weíre aggressive,î said Brown of the first three games. ěWeíre getting in the game and weíre ready to fight.î