It took Charlotte Christian pitcher Jackson Kowar a while to find his groove against Statesville.
Once he did, Kowar was nearly unhittable as the Knights overcame a ragged start to beat the Greyhounds 7-4 on Wednesday in the final day of the Jack Sink Spring Break Classic baseball tournament at Myers Park High.
After giving up four runs in the first two innings, the Clemson signee had 11 of his 12 strikeouts over the final five innings – including five straight between the third and fourth innings – as Christian (14-2) won its 10th straight.
“We were all kinda geared up to play Myers Park (Tuesday night’s rain-postponed game),” said Kowar, who improved to 6-0 on the season. “We kinda got shellshocked in the first two innings, but it was nice to throw some zeroes for the team the rest of the way.”
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Those first two innings nearly did the Knights in.
Statesville (4-10) got to a struggling Kowar for five infield hits. Those, and a pair of errors, led to all of the Greyhounds’ runs. Meanwhile, Statesville starting pitcher Travis Ramseur held Christian in check, allowing just two baserunners in the first three innings.
“(Ramseur has) a legitimate arm,” Statesville coach Jeff Peck said. “But he started wearing out a little bit, not finishing some pitches, and they got some good swings on the ball. But he gave us a chance to compete.”
Christian ended the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fourth, then got to Ramseur and reliever Rhyne Johnson for four runs in the fifth to take the lead. The Knights would add a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning.
“(Kowar) didn’t have his ‘A’ game today, but he was able to pitch and had a bunch of strikeouts. I was also proud of the guys, because we had to score some runs.” – Christian coach Greg Simmons.
The teams combined for 10 stolen bases Wednesday, with Ramseur and Christian’s Reece Hampton getting two each. … Dillon Carpenter had two hits and drove in two runs for the Knights. Bailey Lewis also had two hits. … Three players – R.J. Conner, Dylan Haskell and Edward Johnson – had two hits each for Statesville.
Charlotte Christian hosts Liberty Christian of Lynchburg, Va., at 2 p.m. Saturday. … Statesville resumes North Piedmont 3A-4A play Tuesday, hosting North Iredell.
At East Mecklenburg High
Charlotte Catholic 9, North Mecklenburg 0
Covenant Day 9, East Mecklenburg 5
Butler 15, Charlotte Latin 2 (6)
Charlotte Latin 11, East Mecklenburg 1 (6)
At Myers Park High
Providence Day 5, Mallard Creek 3
Charlotte Christian 7, Statesville 4
Hopewell 10, Charlotte Country Day 2
Myers Park vs. Charlotte Christian, ccd.
Lake Norman Charter 5, Myers Park 3