Pony 14 All-Stars win section championship

By Kevin Spradlin

* Day 1: R’ham All-Stars take 2

Robbie Allen, coach of the Rockinghiam Pony League All-Star team of 14-year-olds, looked at his team in between the bottom of the first inning and top of the second Friday night against Bennett in the East Zone South Region Piedmont Section tournament at Kiwanis Park in Asheboro.

Photo by Robbie Allen

Photo by Robbie Allen

He liked what he saw. And once play resumed, he liked it even more.

As the Rockingham squad faced its first deficit of the tournament, down 2-1 after one inning of play, the first two batters went down quickly in the top of the second. Then “the bats came alive,” Allen said.

Cameron Carraway drew a walk and Chase Demay followed with a double that scored Carraway to knot the game 2-2. Alex Anderson’s RBI single scored Demay and gave Rockingham a lead it wouldn’t relinquish en route to a 6-4 victory over Bennett.

With the win, Rockingham advances to the East Zone Pony Region tournament that begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday at McEver Field in Davidson.

“That’s the first time we’ve had to play from behind,” Allen said.

Starting pitcher Drew Loving tossed four innings and gave up four runs — two earned — on four hits and two walks to keep Rockingham competitive. Drew Grant came on in relief and finished the final three innings by allowing three hits and walking two. Combined, Loving and Grant tallied 11 strikeouts.

Justin Ingram and Chase Puckett each homered for Rockingham. Ingram, Puckett, Anderson and Tyler Blount each had two hits for the winners. Tony McRae finished 1-for-1 at the plate for the visitors.

Rockingham went up 3-2 after its half of the second inning and then scored twice more in the top of the third for a 5-2 lead. Bennett scored two runs in the bottom of the inning but was shut down the rest of the way.

Game 1: Rockingham 12, Asheboro 0 

Pitching remained a strength for Rockingham as Blount and Grant combined for five innings of three-hit ball to shut out host Asheboro 12-0 in a mercy rule-shortened five-inning game.

Puckett went 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run and six runs batted in. Grant also had four hits in the game, along with 3 RBIs. Carraway, Ingram and Blount added two hits apiece in the win.

Rockingham scored four runs in the top of the first, three more in the second and five in the fourth to seal the game.


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