While the Coastal Plain League's second half has began, the Forest City Owls have also begun to play a little bit better ball.
Forest City (4-4 in the second half) had the worst field half record in CPL this season (9-18), but now sit at 13-22. The Owls have 17 games left and if they are going to make the playoffs this season, they will likely have to get to 24-25 wins just to even have a shot of making the eight team postseason field. However, if they win the second half west, they would be in automatically. Right now, Asheboro holds a three game lead with Forest City sitting in third.
Post 423: Early last week, Rutherford County did all they could to knock out the No.1 Area IV West club from Caldwell County.
Dustin McEntire's RBI flyout gave Rutherford County game four and forced a deciding game five. Rutherford eventually ended the season losing 6-4 in game five, but not after a very respectable series as the lowest seed in the bracket.
Braves: Atlanta is still fighting despite an injury to Freddie Freeman and now a season ending injury to closer Jason Grilli. I give them more credit than I thought they would deserve at this point in the season. It's just at the All-Star break and they have won 40-plus games. With the injuries though, they have lost five of their last seven.
A bright spot for the Braves though is Asheville's own Cameron Maybin. Maybin is hitting .289 with eight homers, 39 runs scored and 44 RBI. Nick Markakis and Kelly Johnson are still holding their own on offense as well.
Pitching isn't all that bad. The Braves have three in Alex Wood, Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller that are formidable on the mound. Are they intimidating? No. However, they can get the job done, but nobody stands out in a very win splitting staff. For now, finding a closer is going to be key. Grilli had 24 if their 30 saves on the season, while only two other pitchers have a save on the staff. The Braves will have less than 80 games left after the All-Star Break.
And just a thought on NASCAR's latest two fence breakers. Austin Dillon tore down a big section of fencing at Daytona on Monday morning, July 6. The wreck was just a chain reaction type deal at restrictor plate tracks. When cars are pushing at the finish line, that type of crash is likely to occur. However, it's rare that a car get up in the fence. Luckily the fence did its job, tossing the car back onto the track after a very violent hit with two different polls. Less than 10 fans were hurt and none seriously.
The craziest part is that car was upended by Denny Hamlin who spun in front of him. Roof flaps are suppose to keep the cars on the ground, but there is really no fix for what just happened. Tracks have strengthened their fences for this very purpose and luckily nobody was seriously injured.
The same happened at Kentucky this past weekend in the Camping World Truck race. Not exactly at the speed in Daytona, but it was at the fastest part of the track in turn one in which Ben Kennedy's truck was thrown into the fence. The strange part about it, Kennedy was turned, then a passing truck who couldn't stop in time pushed and lifted the truck into catch fence before riding the top of the wall for a whole corner. Once again, the fence did its job and put the race truck back on the track.
At least NASCAR has roll cages, but fan safety could be a little better. Overall, NASCAR is doing well in that category, but with two wrecks that destroyed fencing in back-to-back weeks, it maybe concerning.