Opportunistic Wolverines blank Rosman in season opener

All the little things that Polk County did well Thursday meant much more than the one thing the Wolverines didn’t.

Noah Harden and Lawson Carter teamed on a one-hitter as the Wolverines kicked off the 2024 baseball season with a 12-0 victory on a chilly evening at The Bottoms.

Harden struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just one hit in three innings to earn the win. Carter fanned four in his two hitless innings of relief.

Perhaps most notably, Polk County (1-0) didn’t commit any errors and perfectly executed a rundown on a pickoff attempt. To see effective pitching and mistake-free defense in a season opener made for a happy head coach Billy Alm.

“The pitchers threw a bunch of strikes, and we made the plays when they put the ball in play,” Alm said. “We saw our first rundown and did a good job on that.

“But we’ve got to get better at the plate. I felt like we had a good approach, and we took a bunch of walks, which we want them to do. We’ve got to be more aggresive on the pitches in the zone. But I like what I saw tonight.”

The Wolverines finished with just three hits, taking advantage of six Rosman errors and seven walks. Harden and Karson Scruggs each had doubles and Gunnar Alm had a single. Alm also had two RBI, with Mason Beiler driving in a pair of runs as well.

Rosman pitchers also hit five batters, and the Wolverines recorded 10 stolen bases, with Carter stealing four and Alm stealing three. Carter’s four steals were one short of Daniel McEnytre’s single-game record.

Polk County is set to travel Saturday to West Wilkes, where the Wolverines will face North Surry and the host school as part of West Wilkes’ annual early-season tournament.

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