Legion baseball: Rowan edges Stokes County
GRANITE QUARRY — Vance Honeycutt was the runner at first base. So, as soon as Logan Rogers’ hit found a gap, Rowan County’s American Legion baseball team owned a 4-3 walk-off victory.
Honeycutt, a UNC signee who is fast, made his American Legion debut as a pinch-runner in the fifth inning.
Stokes County also was making its season debut. There were reports earlier this summer that Stokes wouldn’t be able to field a team, but those reports proved exaggerated. Stokes has put together a 19-man squad from North Stokes, West Stokes, Mount Tabor, Walkertown and East Surry high schools.
And East Surry is still in the 1A state playoffs.
Stokes showed up at Staton Field on Monday and made it quite a game.
Rogers, who was good in NC3 play last summer before heading to Southeastern Community College, was the standout for Rowan (2-0). He had three hits (one of them an oddball scorebook hit that struck Honeycutt, who was running between first and second) and drove in three runs. A two-way player, Rogers also did plenty of damage on the mound, striking out six in relief, although he didn’t figure in the decision.
CP Pyle’s walk, Aiden Schenck’s double and Rogers’ groundball — Schenck was out trying to get to third, but Pyle scored — gave Rowan a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Rowan made it 2-0 in the third on Pyle’s single, Pyle’s good read on a dirt ball and Rogers’ RBI single.
Stokes got on the board against Rowan starter Mattox Henderson in the fourth when Walkertown’s Brayden Millner socked a solo homer.
It stayed 2-1 for a long time. Bryson Bennett, a rising junior pitcher from North Stokes, put up several zeroes.
Henderson pitched out of some challenging spots. Stokes stranded a runner at third base in the first and second innings and Rowan turned a double play between two singles in the third.
Henderson lasted into the fifth, scattering eight hits. Rogers took over from there and blew away the visitors.
In the top of the seventh, two walks suddenly ended Rogers’ night. West Rowan’s Zander Burton, who didn’t pitch at all for the high school team, relieved Rogers in a tough spot. Bennett singled in the tying run. Then Stokes took a 3-2 lead on a wild pitch.
Bennett pitched a complete game, but he went from winning pitcher to losing pitcher in a hurry on a couple of seventh-inning swings.
With one out, Charlie Klingler pounded the home run that made it 3-all.
With two men out and with extra innings looming, Honeycutt drew a walk. Then he sprinted around the bases on Rogers’ clutch hit.
That gave the win to Burton.
Rowan catcher Tristan Miller went 2-for-2 and threw out a basestealer.
West Stokes’ Jake Smith had two doubles for Stokes.
Next for Rowan is a Friday home doubleheader against Eastern Randolph that is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Stokes 000 100 2 — 3 10 1
Rowan 101 000 2 — 4 9 0
W — Burton (1-0). L — Bennett (0-1).
HR — Stokes: Br. Miller (1); Rowan: Klingler (1).