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Home News ALWS Day 2: North Carolina bounces back

ALWS Day 2: North Carolina bounces back

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Rowan County (N.C.) Post 342 couldn’t have gotten off to a better start Thursday, jumping on top of Indiana 3-0 in the first inning. But four errors later, Indiana had rallied for a 6-3 win.

Post 342 got off to a similar start Friday against Omaha (Neb.) Post 1, jumping on top 3-0 in the top of the second. This time, the lead didn’t slip away.

Rowan County (39-13) built the lead to 5-0 and held off a late rally to win 5-2, moving to 1-1 in pool play and slowing what had been a dominating run by Post 1. Omaha (59-4) outscored its Central Plains Region opponents 46-4 and won its Thursday opener 14-5 over Washington.

“I would like to say there’s something different or magical that we did (differently Friday), but that’s the way they’ve been all year,” Post 342 coach Jim Gantt said. “When we’ve been bad, we’ve been really bad, and that’s indicative of what happened (Thursday). Today … they just came out ready to play.”

Part of the credit goes to Rowan County starting pitcher Bryan Ketchie (2-0), who held Omaha scoreless until the eighth inning. He scattered seven hits and walked just one batter in eight complete.

“I felt really good,” Ketchie said. “(In) the eighth inning I made two really big mistakes. Other than that, I think I pitched really good.”

His defense committed just one error behind him.

“Our defense played phenomenal today,” Ketchie said. “They had a bad day yesterday, and they came out strong today.”

Rowan County (39-13) paired up four hits with three walks to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for Trevor Atwood, who drew a free pass to bring home Juan Garcia.

Tanner File followed with an RBI single to score Brandon Walton, and Chandler Blackwelder’s deep fly ball brought home Jake Pritchard.

After both teams went scoreless for the next three innings, Post 342 strung together two hits and a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved both runners up, and Walton followed with a looping single into right field that brought Lee Poteat and Garcia home, upping the advantage to 5-0.

Post 1 (59-4) finally got on the board when Craig Petrich smacked the ball over the left-center fence. Lucas Ripa followed with a double and was driven home on Brett Vosik’s double two batters later.

But Post 342 pitcher Bryan Ketchie, who had shut down Omaha prior to the eighth, got a strikeout to end the inning. Teammate Hunter Shepherd came on to start the ninth to get the final three outs and pick up the save.

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