Legion Baseball: Lexington pummels South
By Mike London
LEXINGTON ó A furry creature made a mad dash across the infield at Holt-Moffitt Field as South Rowan pitcher J.D. Bare warmed up for the fourth inning on Sunday night.
Fans were suddenly entertained by both a hare and a Bare, and they heartily cheered the mammal’s surprise entrance and hasty exit.
CPA Ronald Shore, seated in South’s glum section of the cement bleachers, wryly remarked, “Well, there goes the highlight of the night.”
Shore, whose son Caleb started in right field, assessed a bleak situation as accurately as he fills out tax returns. Lexington walloped six home runs and routed South 22-4 in an American Legion game that was over shortly after it started.
First-place Lexington (5-2, 5-0) accumulated four runs in the first, three in the second, five in the third and 10 ó count ’em, 10 ó in the fourth and enthusiastically ended South’s five-game winning streak in a contest shortened to seven innings.
Other highlights for the visitors included a booming homer by Randy Shepherd, the opportunity to purchase good hamburgers at the concession stand and new South player Dustin Davis’ father pocketing $111 in half-and-half winnings.
South (6-5, 3-2) gave up the most runs it’s surrendered since a 25-12 home loss to Concord in 2006.
South’s recent winning streak included victories against Kannapolis, Mooresville, Stanly and Mocksville, so it’s not like coach David Wright has a bad team. But it’s a long summer and this sort of thing happens occasionally.
“We’ll take this one on the chin and try again Tuesday against Concord,” Wright said with a sigh. “Tomorrow, this will just be one loss, but what concerns me a little bit is that we dragged in here tonight like we’d just played six or seven nights in a row, and we haven’t.”
Wright put Cameron Park on the mound. Park pitched well against Kannapolis in his previous start and tossed an excellent game against Lexington last summer, working into the ninth in a game South won 6-5.
But Post 8 was ready for the crafty lefty this time.
“Park has given us trouble in the past,” Lexington coach Matt Griffin said. “He probably would have given us a tough time tonight except we faced a lefty from Statesville who is very similar to Park on Saturday. That helped us out a lot.”
Matt Tysinger launched a three-run blast, the first of his two homers, in the first inning to set the tone.
Luke Wilhelm, Alex Grubb, Zach Burkhart and Appalachian State signee Zack Briggs also connected, and none of Lexington’s homers were solos. Post 8’s 20 hits also included four doubles and a triple.
“Obviously, this was the best we’ve swung it, but it was a just a night when everything went our way,” Griffin said. “We had the best team we can put out there on the field and had our No. 1 guy pitching.”
That No. 1 guy was North Davidson bulldog Clay Watson (2-0), who has signed with Catawba.
“With all those runs, I pretty much just threw strikes,” Watson said. “We had a couple of real long innings. Twice, I had to get up and start tossing again.”
South picked up single runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Walker Snow, Weston Church and Matt Ingold had two hits each. Maverick Miles had an RBI single in the third to put South on the board.
Shepherd crushed his first Legion homer after Watson fanned the first two batters he faced in the fourth. The bomb cut South’s deficit to 12-2.
“He was throwing a first-pitch fastball to everyone with that lead he had, and I was sitting on one,” Shepherd said. “It’s about time I hit a ball hard again.”
Just about everyone in Lexington’s lineup hit balls hard. Tysinger knocked in six runs. Wilhelm had five RBIs and scored four runs. Zach Joyce also scored four times. Briggs was 4-for-5.
“Looking at those first five guys they send up there, those are some really big boys with big legs,” Shepherd said. “To have any chance to get them out, you have to get ahead in the count, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Wright agreed with Shepherd’s analysis.
“Lexington’s 1-5, you’d better be ready to get ahead and make some pitches,” he said. “If you don’t, they’ll make you pay in a big way.”
NOTES: Central Davidson pitcher Chelsea Leonard, who led the Spartans to the 2A softball state championship on Saturday, was in the crowd and was cheered by fans. … Dylan Walker, Bare and Zach Wright followed Park to the mound. Wright pitched a scoreless sixth. … Lexington turned three DPs. South got one when Ryan Bostian caught a low liner to center and doubled a runner off first to end the second inning
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or email@example.com.