R’ham falls 4-3 in Pony League tourney

By Kevin Spradlin

Tyler Blount scored from third on a passed ball and Blount and Justin Ingram added sacrifice RBIs in a two-run fifth inning but it wasn’t enough to carry Rockingham over DC Force, of Davidson, in the Pony League East Zone South Region tournament Wednesday in Davidson.

PonyDC Force won, 4-3. Rockingham drops to the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament and plays the winner of High Point and Chesterfield (Va.) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Robbie Allen, one of the coaches of the All-Star team of 14-year-olds, said strong pitching and defense wasn’t enough this time.

“We knew we had good pitching and good defense,” Allen said, with hitting being the weakness of this year’s All-Star team.

Allen said the team was “a little down” but in the double-elimination tournament, “anything can happen.”

It came close to happening Wednesday night. The host team from Davidson took the lead in the bottom of the first inning with a single and  a two-run homer off of Ingram, Rockingham’s starting pitcher. But Ingram settled down and didn’t allow another hit as he tossed three innings of two-hit ball, walking none.

Drew Loving came on in relief in the bottom of the fourth and allowed three hits, striking out three and walking one. He gave up two earned runs, one each in the fifth and sixth innings in the seven-inning ballgame.

BracketRockingham pulled within 2-1 in the top of the third when Blount singled, then stole second and third. He scored on a passed ball.

In the top of the fifth, Chris Demay walked, Alex Anderson singled and Blount and Ingram sacrificed themselves to score both runners.

Rockingham qualified for the tournament in Davidson after finishing the East Zone South Region Piedmont Section tournament with a 4-0 record. In those four games, Rockingham’s pitching dominated as the Richmond County All-Star squad outscored their opponents 27-5.


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