Legion Baseball: South Rowan 14, Kannapolis 2
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó South Rowan coach David Wright had to visit the mound before Zach Wright pitched to his third batter on Wednesday, but he must have had said all the right stuff.
Or maybe he said the Wright stuff.
Zach Wright, a Carson lefty, was still around for the seventh and his 10th strikeout ended a 14-2 romp at Kannapolis in a game that won’t count in the division standings.
“Coach told me to settle down and believe in my pitches,” Wright said.
Wright (2-0) believed in his curve and changeup early and his fastball late.
Walks are usually his toughest opponent, but he limited Kannapolis to four free passes and didn’t allow a hit after the second inning.
“Zach got in a groove and once he did he didn’t let up,” South catcher Joseph Basinger said. “His curveball was unbelievable. Then about the fifth inning, he started throwing his fastball like he can throw it.”
South (8-5) also found a hitting groove. It hammered out 17 hits, even with big guns Weston Church, Maverick Miles, Walker Snow and Ivan Corriher getting a night off.
“Some guys who haven’t played regularly got in there and showed me I can go to them when I need to,” David Wright said.
Basinger, a Carson freshman who serves as the backup catcher, had four solid hits, including a homer.
“I hit one homer in school ball, but this one meant a lot more,” Basinger said. “This one was against older, more athletic guys.”
Scott Ashby, who’s working out of a slump, homered, doubled and ripped hard outs. Brett Huffman, who’s been through a tough stretch, broke loose for four RBIs.
J.D. Bare, who got a rare start at second base, had three hits, as did regulars Matt Ingold and Ryan Bostian.
Wright faced a first-inning mess after the two walks and a catcher’s interference call loaded the bases with none out, but Kannapolis (4-5) got only one run ó on a passed ball.
After Wright allowed a solo homer to Jason Brown in the second, he cruised.
“When I went out and talked to Zach early, I told him get out of that crouch he was in, get straight up and play catch with Joseph like he was in the backyard,” David Wright said. “He got in a zone and threw very well. This could be a huge game for him.”
Basinger hit a two-run homer in the second for a 2-1 lead, and South blew the game open with a five-run third that included RBI hits by Bare, Ingold and Bostian and a two-run double by Huffman.
Ashby’s two-run homer highlighted a five-run seventh.
Wright faced only 17 batters over the last five innings, and Kannapolis, which scored 17 runs in a crazy comeback victory at Statesville on Tuesday, had few quality at-bats.
“The heart of their lineup is good,” David Wright said. Tonight, uncharacteristically, they chased a lot of stuff.”
New coach Matt Stack, who played on the the Kannapolis team that won Area III in 2003, will turn to his pitching horses Jacob Wright (at Rowan on Friday) and Ryan Overcash (at Mooresville on Saturday), but he was pretty disgusted with his team’s shaky showing.
“League game, non-league game, whatever you want to call it, you don’t ever go out there and not compete,” he said. “I don’t question my team’s heart or character or talent, but I’m really curious to know where our heads were at tonight.”-
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or email@example.com.