By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, July 7, 2013 —
The indications entering the opening-round best-of-five playoff series this week between the American Legion baseball teams of No. 3-seeded Stanly County and No. 2 Southern Rowan was that the higher seed was on a hotter streak.
Southern Rowan had won three of its final four games in the regular season, including a 4-1 win over Stanly and a 9-0 lead in a suspended game at Stanly that was cancelled and never replayed. Post 76 had lost three of its final four games of the regular season.
The playoffs were a different story. After rain forced cancellation of the opening game Tuesday, the weather held off for the two teams play and Stanly got solid pitching as Post 76 swept the series in three straight games.
Stanly County 4
Southern Rowan 2
With the threat of rain all around China Grove and South Rowan High School, the opening game of the series on Wednesday night was played in front of a large yet relatively quiet crowd all likely anticipating yet another weather delay.
After numerous bags of Turface and a 30-minute delay in preparing the field, the two teams were finally able to open their first-round series.
Stanly jumped out to the early lead in the series behind solid pitching and two hits from their designated hitter to win 4-2.
Stanly County 6
Southern Rowan 2
Stanly took advantage of an early error and took a lead they would never relinquish in a 6-2 win at Don Montgomery Park.
Cody McKenzie pitched 7.2 solid innings for Stanly, allowing two earned runs with six strikeouts.
Stanly County 5
Southern Rowan 1
The final game of the series was a pitcher’s duel that needed an extra inning to decide matters.
Three pitchers for Stanly combined to limit South Rowan to a single run through nine innings while Southern starter John Daugherty scattered six Stanly hits and had only one walk with three strikeouts over the first nine.
Post 76 broke through on Southern reliever Tyler Sides and scored four times in the 10th to clinch the series three games to none with a 5-1 road victory.
For pictures, stats and more on the games, see the July 7 print edition.