Rocky Mount One Win Away From State Baseball Title

A balanced Rocky Mount offensive attack banged out 10 hits and the Gryphons held off East Rowan 7-4 in the first game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A baseball championship series on Friday at Five County Stadium.

East Rowan jumped in front 2-0 in the bottom of the first,but Rocky Mount tied it in the second when a run scored on a double play and
then Collins Cuthrell delivered a run-scoring single to tie the game.

The Gryphons took a 5-2 lead with three in the fourth, with Gabe Brown¹s two-run single the key blow, but East battled back to slice it 5-4 on Zack Smith¹s two-out, two-run double.

Rocky Mount then added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth after a two-out error, a triple by William Barringer that scored a run and then an RBI single by Grant Johnson.

Chris Berry had two hits to lead the Gryphons. Senior righthander Jim Leggett went the route on the mound for the winners, allowing just three hits and getting his 28th career victory, a Rocky Mount school record, while Corbin Shive was charged with the loss.

Smith provided the offensive punch for East Rowan with two hits in three trips and three runs batted in. The Mustangs dropped to 28-4
overall while Rocky Mount improved to 26-5.

Game two in the best-of-three series is set for Saturdaymorning at eleven o¹clock as Rocky Mount seeks to close out the series and
win its first NCHSAA baseball title since 1980. Game three, if necessary, would be played Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.

Game Box Score:

Rocky Mount 0 2 0 3 0 2 0 ­ 7 10 1
East Rowan 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 ­ 4 3 1
WP-Jim Leggett (8-3). LP-Corbin Shive (11-2).