ROCKINGHAM —Six outs is all that separates Rockingham from advancing to the championship game of the Pony League’s Bronco Division Piedmont Section.
Rockingham will have to wait 20 hours to get its opportunity after rain and lightning forced officials to postpone Thursday’s game between Rockingham and Garner. Rockingham leads 5-2 in the top of the sixth.
“We have been flirting with disaster all week,” Rockingham coach Lee Griffith said about the delay. “Being this deep in the game as we are won’t be a problem, the kids are resilient, they will be fine.”
The game is scheduled to continue today at 1:30 p.m. at Civitans Park. Southwest Randolph will play the loser in an elimination contest. The winner of that game will have to defeat the victor of the first contest to force a Saturday matchup to determine the section champion.
“We are in great shape as far as our pitching,” Griffith said. “We just have to finish the business we started.”
After failing behind in the bottom of the first, Rockingham rallied to take control of the game in the third. Jonathan Lee, Myles Rohleder and Jack Webb all reached safely to open the frame and chase Garner starter Ajay Sealey. Following a ground out, Jamie Thomas and Joshua Griffith had back-to-back run-scoring singles to give Rockingham a 3-1 lead.
Garner trimmed the deficit in its half of the inning on Jack Gorrell’s single to score Brandon Dunn, who ripped a double leading off.
After a scoreless fourth, Rockingham tacked on two more runs to extend its advantage to three.
With the weather causing games to be postponed, the remaining three teams will have deeper pitching staff.
“We’re back to full strength pitching today,” Griffith said. “Having the delay is a catch-22, we will have to take what we have and do the best with it. I like my chances.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com