Mooresville’s status as the state’s only Area III Southern Division entry to house a North Carolina Junior American Legion baseball champion remains in place, but just barely, following the latest state tournament event.
SD-Area II representative South Rowan, in just its second season of existence, advanced to within an out of capturing the coveted crown only to drop the ball from that point. They endured a disheartening, 4-3 defeat to fellow first-time finalist R-S Central in earlier this week’s rain-delayed finale.
All play involving the total of eight teams — two apiece hailing from each of the state’s four regions designated as Area I, Area II, Area II and Area IV — is taking place in the surrounding High Point/Thomasville area. South Rowan advanced out of its four-team pool and merited a berth in the title tilt before having its bid to join Mooresville as an Area III-SD champion foiled.
Mooresville captured the state’s Jr. AL title during the summer of 2009 in what was its first of two straight championship tournament appearances. That organization, however, has since disbanded and the area currently does not field a Junior American Legion team.
South Rowan came within a strike or two of putting the finishing touches on a successful state championship campaign. The squad took a 3-0 lead into the top of the seventh before allowing Area IV representative R-S Central to stage a comeback capped with a two-out winning rally.
Mooresville remains one of a limited number of homes of the state’s Jr. AL title that first went up for grabs during the 2001 summer. Cary remains accountable for the most number of state titles courtesy of its program’s total of five championships. Teams representing South Caldwell, a three-time winner, and West Johnston, the only program to defend a crown and collect consecutive titles, also boast of more than one first-place trophy apiece.
In addition to Mooresville, other organizations with at least one N.C. Junior American Legion title in two include Fuquay-Varina, Snow Hill, Kernersville, Mint Hill, Davidson County, Rutherford County and Windsor.
Play in the state attraction was extended by one day due to bad weather.