By Shawn Stinson Sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
July 7, 2014
ROCKINGHAM — It is like an opportunity to go directly to Go in Monopoly.
The Rockingham Pony all-star team will get the chance to advance to the East Zone tournament if it were to be victorious in this week’s Pony Host Area event in High Point.
“You get to skip two tournaments,” coach Jeff Ingram said. “That’s the reason why we are going.”
Rockingham will be joined by two teams from Henry County, a squad from Summerfield and one from Huntsville.
“I am surprised only five teams are playing,” Ingram said. “Getting to the Zone is the reason you play.”
Ingram said his lineup will be sprinkled with seven players who are currently playing on the Richmond Senior High School junior summer league team. He hopes their experience will translate to this week’s tournament.
Ingram added his team should be solid defensively and have a good core to its pitching staff. It’s going to be producing runs is where Ingram believes the Pony team may struggle.
“We are going to play small ball,” Ingram said. “We hope to play those one-run, two-run games. I think defense and pitching are going to be our strong points.”
Drew Grant, Justin Ingram and Drew Loving are expected to throw the majority of the innings for the team, but Ingram added he could call on another four or five players to pitch if needed.
Rockingham will square off with one of the teams from Henry County at 8 p.m. today. The winner of that game will face Huntsville at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The other squad from Henry County will take on Summerfield in the tournament opener at 6 p.m. today. The winner of that contest will not have to return to action until 8 p.m. Thursday.
The losers from the first two contests will face off 8 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination contest.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.