Prep Baseball: South Rowan 8, Lake Norman 3
By Bret Strelow
MOORESVILLE ó The sprinkler system sprayed water over a field that, like the adjacent parking lot, was nearly empty.
South Rowan had wrapped up an 8-3 win at Lake Norman about 20 minutes earlier, and Jordan Corriher’s tiebreaking home run still hadn’t landed.The ball never even left the park ó it remained wedged between the face of the right-field fence and the back of a metal sign hanging from the wall as the Raiders traveled home.
Right fielder Nick Lomascolo was unaware the ball didn’t clear the fence, and he didn’t object when the base umpire twirled his index finger to signal the first official homer of Corriher’s varsity career.
“I’ll take it however it comes,” Corriher said.
Corriher, who totaled three hits in South’s first 20 games, went 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs to help South claim sole possession of third place in the NPC. The Raiders were tied with Northwest Cabarrus for third, but the Trojans lost to West Iredell.South (16-5, 10-5) trails second-place Mooresville by one game, and they are scheduled to meet in Landis on Tuesday. The Raiders fell 3-1 at Mooresville.”We can still get the No. 2 seed, and this will help us on that mission,” South coach Linn Williams said after his team beat Lake Norman for the second time. “Obviously, we’ve got a big game with Mooresville, and we played them pretty tight at their place. We win that one, we probably have the inside track to second place.”
South erased a 3-2 deficit against Lake Norman (8-12, 6-9) by scoring three times in the top of the fourth inning, and it added three more runs in the fifth.Blake Houston drew an eight-pitch walk with two away in the fourth, stole second base and scored the tying run on a single by No. 8 hitter Jordan Lowder.
Corriher came up next and drove a pitch to right field. A loud bang was audible as the ball approached the fence and disappeared.
The tops of the outfield advertisements are clamped at three spots: in the middle and at both corners. The ball somehow descended through the small gap between a sign and the fence.”The center fielder and left fielder were asking (Lomascolo), and he didn’t know,” acting Lake Norman coach Clark Benfield said. “Nobody knew. We didn’t have a chance to appeal it. The way he came back, we thought it went way out. Just bad luck.”
Corriher, who hit an RBI double in the second inning, has three extra-base hits and three singles this season.
A Lake Norman supporter went to find the home-run ball, and he notified the umpires of his surprising discovery.
No one retrieved the ball in the final few innings. It was still suspended near the bottom of the sign ó about 3 feet above the warning track ó after the game.
“(Corriher) has got a lot of pop in the bat, obviously,” Williams said. “It’s just a matter of him being consistent day-in and day-out. He had a couple games like this in the Easter tournament, and he’s worked hard in practice. He deserved another shot at it, and the kid had a great game.”
All three of his previous hits came in the first two rounds of the Peeler Classic.Before Friday, Corriher hadn’t recorded an official at-bat since he pinch-hit on April 9.
“Coach told me at the beginning I was going to DH, and I just wanted to please him,” he said.
A bloop single from Houston, sacrifice fly from Lowder and infield single from Matt Ingold produced three unearned runs in the fifth, and the lead held up for starting pitcher Ryan Bostian.Garrett Braun hit a two-run homer in the first, and Shane Denton had a solo shot in the third. Bostian (5-2) allowed seven of the Wildcats’ 10 hits in the first three innings, but he’s gone the distance in all seven of his starts.
“I was just taking the coaches’ advice and staying with my pitches,” Bostian said. “I like finishing; I don’t like leaving.”
Contact Bret Strelow at email@example.com.