Prep Baseball: South Rowan 12, Statesville 5
By Bill Kiser
STATESVILLE ó South Rowan’s offense had to work hard for most of their runs in Friday night’s game against Statesville.
That’s a good thing, because the Raiders’ defense didn’t make things easy during their 12-5 NPC win over the Greyhounds, despite what the final score indicates.
It took a big seventh inning for South Rowan (13-4, 7-4) to finally beat back Statesville and pick up its second consecutive league victory.
While the Raiders were able to put things together offensively ó 13 hits, four extra bases ó and with its pitching, it was a different story in the field.
South committed four errors, and a number of other mistakes allowed Statesville (2-10, 1-9) to tie the score in the first inning without a hit, and pull within one run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We swung the bats pretty good, but we played terrible defensively tonight,” Raiders coach Linn Williams said. “We let them back in the game. We didn’t take care of the baseball, and we can’t do that.”
And it made life tougher for South starting pitcher Jordan Lowder, who gave up just one hit ó a fourth-inning single to Quaylon Whittaker ó and struck out six in five innings.
Lowder (4-2) had to pitch longer than necessary.
“Lowder pitched well, but if we had made plays behind him, he would’ve finished this game,” Williams said. “We probably made him throw 20 extra pitches that he didn’t have to throw.”
The Raiders were ahead 6-2 when Lowder gave up back-to-back walks to open the bottom of the sixth, and Williams went to Caleb Shore in relief.
Shore promptly gave up a pair of singles to score a pair of runs, with a third coming in on a groundout to pull Statesville within 6-5.
However, the Greyhounds’ pitching and defense ó which had eight errors total Friday ó collapsed in the top of the seventh, with South scoring six runs (only one of them earned) off three hits and three errors.
“Thank God for that last inning, because it gave us some breathing room,” Williams said. “We need to get on a streak, because we’ve been up and down. We need to start winning a few in a row, to put some pressure on other teams to keep up.”
NOTES: Shore had three hits and drove in three runs with a bases-clearing triple in the seventh. Maverick Miles also drove in three runs with a solo homer in the first and a two-run double in the sixth.