Legion Baseball: South Rowan
By Mike London
LANDIS ó As one of baseball’s greatest lefties, the late Warren Spahn, once said, “Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.”
South Rowan Legion southpaw Cameron Park upset Kannapolis’ timing badly on Monday and led his team to a 12-2 victory that took only seven innings.
Park went the distance and allowed four singles and two walks to frustrated Post 115 hitters.
“Early, Cam couldn’t really find it,” South catcher Ivan Corriher said. “But once he gained confidence, he was letting them swing as hard as they could and letting them hit it as high as they could. They weren’t getting many good swings because they weren’t used to swinging at the speed he throws at.”
Carson’s Park won’t light up any radar guns, but pitching is more than velocity. He got ahead 0-1 all night and got hitters to chase pitches a little off the plate in the best tradition of future Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.
“He worked ahead, located and kept us off-balance,” Kannapolis coach Matt Stack said. “When a pitcher does that, he’ll be successful.”
“Cam’s realized he’s not a strikeout pitcher, and he’s got to take his chances in the zone early in the count,” South coach David Wright added. “He got their hitters in situations where they couldn’t be as selective as they wanted to be.”
Kannapolis led 2-0 after Ryan Overcash drove in Alex Edwards in the second and fourth innings.
Kannapolis pitcher Graham Lawing, who missed Northwest Cabarrus’ season with a hand injury, shut out South for three innings, but the game turned when the drainage ditch that is often South’s Player of the Game, victimized a left fielder for the second night in a row.
Matthew Ingold opened the South fourth with a hit. When Weston Church followed with a fly to left, the outfielder had a bead on it before he tumbled across the infamous ditch. It was a double in the book for Church and South had runners at second and third with none out.
Caleb Shore’s rocket to left-center tied the game at 2-2. After Lawing hit Maverick Miles with a pitch and Corriher singled, his night was done. South (4-4) then went to work against the Kannapolis bullpen, and Brett Huffman’s two-run single, one of his three hits, put South on top. C.J. Neal’s sac fly and an errant pickoff throw made it a six-run inning.
Big hits by Corriher and Scott Ashby keyed South’s three-run fifth. Neal escaped a rundown to prolong the seventh, and two-out hits by Ryan Bostian and Weston Church brought on the 10-run rule.
South’s defense was terrific again and was highlighted by a running catch that Shore made in right field. Kannapolis ripped four lineouts and several deep flyballs to center that Bostian cruised under, but Park just kept throwing strikes.
“The coaches are preaching at me to pitch to contact and let my defense work, and that’s where I get my success,” Park said. “I found a groove and got my confidence back. Confidence helps out a lot.”
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4287 or email@example.com.