ROCKINGHAM — For the second straight evening, weather threatened to postpone games at Civitans Park.
Unlike the 90-minute delay of the initial contest of the Pony League’s Bronco Division Piedmont Section, officials were able to get Tuesday’s games in without problems despite the majority of the nightcap being played in a constant drizzle.
Garner, last year’s section champion, knocked off Archdale 11-3 in its opener. Jack Gorrell was 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, while Ajay Sealey was 4-of-4 with an RBI in the victory.
Garner will not return to action until 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Rockingham in a winner’s bracket contest. Archdale falls into the loser’s bracket and will battle Asheboro today at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination contest.
In the second game of the day, Rockingham once again used its speed to jump out to a big lead against its opponent. Rockingham stole five bases in first inning to score all of its runs in a 5-1 victory over Southwest Randolph.
In its first game of the tournament, Rockingham had 12 steals through two innings versus Asheboro.
Jonathan Lee opened the frame for Rockingham by reaching on an error and scored on a single by starting pitcher Myles Rohleder. Jack Webb drove home Rohleder with a single before stealing second and third. After a strikeout, Webb raced home on Jamie Thomas’ bunt single. Thomas stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Three consecutive base on balls pushed another run across for Rockingham. Alec Poplin drew a walk, stole second before Drew Loving was also walked to load the bases. Justin Ingram was issued a free pass, allowing Thomas to walk home. Lee closed out the scoring with a single to plate Poplin.
After struggling with his control in the first inning, Southwest Randolph starting pitcher Bryce Marsh settled down to silence Rockingham’s offense. Marsh retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced to keep Southwest Randolph in the contest. Marsh recorded nine strikeouts through four innings.
As good as Marsh was for Southwest Randolph, Rohleder was even better. Rohleder allowed four hits and struck out four through five innings.
Southwest Randolph will take on Anson County today at 5:30 p.m. The winner of that game will face the victor of the Archdale-Asheboro matchup in tonight’s nightcap to remain alive in the tournament.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org