ROCKINGHAM — The opening two games of the Pony League Piedmont Bronco Section were highlighted by strong pitching.
Rockingham ended up on the good side and the bad side of that dominant pitching.
In the opener, Bryson Lampley and Evan Hudson combined on a one-hitter to lead the Rockingham 12 team to a 12-1 win over Archdale in five innings. In the nightcap, Parker LaPlant and Camden Walker allowed just two hits to lift Southwest Randolph to a 13-1 victory over the Rockingham 11 squad.
“My coaching staff and I felt like we needed to start out with a win so we went with Bryson and Evan,” said Mike Hudson, coach of the Rockingham 12 team. “We played solid overall.”
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Rockingham 12 team sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the second. Rockingham took advantage of four errors in the frame to score seven runs and seize control the contest.
Hudson and Lampley both had run-scoring singles in the inning. Logan Moore added an RBI-double for Rockingham.
Rockingham tacked on four more runs in the third and added a single run in the fourth.
Lampley pitched three innings, allowing one hit, one run, walked five and struck out six. Hudson hurled two scoreless innings, issuing a walk and notched four strikeouts.
“We were able to throw out two of the walks at third and second trying to steal,” Mike Hudson said.
Zach Mabe, Hudson and Moore all finished with two hits in the victory for Rockingham. Moore had two RBIs and Ranger Hudson drove in a run.
SW RANDOLPH 13, ROCKINGHAM 11 1
Southwest Randolph sent 10 batters to the plate in a 5-run first inning to pull away from the Rockingham 11 squad. Southwest Randolph took advantage of three errors in the frame to score three unearned runs.
It was all the scoring the duo of LaPlant and Walker would need.
LaPlant surrendered two hits in three innings of work. He walked one and struck out four. Walker came in and struck the side in both the fourth and fifth innings to close out the victory.
“We couldn’t pitch with them,” Rockingham 11 coach Joey Bostick said. “I didn’t think we played that bad in the first inning if you take away the three major errors. You have to make the routine play.”
Rockingham 11 scored its only run in the bottom of the first inning. Justice Buie singled with two outs and moved to third on an error. After Gavin Russell stole second, LaPlant attempted to pick him off. The throw bounced into shallow center, allowing Buie to race home.
Mike Pettitt was the only other Rockingham 11 batter to record a hit in the contest. Pettitt singled with two out in the third and moved to third before being stranded when Russell lined out to center.
Luke Dalke was 3-for-3 with two runs batted in for Southwest Randolph. Kevin Newlin had three RBIs in the victory.
The Rockingham 12 team will face West Raleigh at 5 p.m. today. Southwest Randolph will square off with Garner at 7 p.m. today. Archdale will take on the loser of the Southwest Randolph-Garner contest 5 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game. The Rockingham 11 team will await the loser of the Rockingham 12-West Raleigh game 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.