South knocks Moors down to second
By Bret Strelow
LANDIS ó South Rowan finished the second game of a difficult doubleheader with a better result, and it still has plenty of room to improve.Two teams entered Wednesday tied atop the division, and both visited Landis. South, which lost to Lexington in the afternoon affair, clinched at least a share of fourth place with a 6-5 victory against Mooresville in the seven-inning nightcap.
Walker Snow clubbed a two-run home run and collected his fifth save for South, which wraps up the regular season tonight with a home game against Rowan County. South, which split with fifth-place Concord, can claim fourth to itself by beating Rowan.
“I’m glad, but I’m still unhappy with the fact we have not completed the process,” South coach David Wright said. “That process is working toward our goal. We’ve got a good enough team to play with (Mooresville) and to play with Lexington and Rowan. If we didn’t, I wouldn’t expect it.
“We’ve had some good performances, but we’ve got to get better as a baseball team if we want to play all summer. If we don’t, it will be a short summer.”
South (14-10, 10-7) led 6-2 before Mooresville (15-8, 13-4) scored two runs in the top half of the sixth inning off bruised-but-effective starter Ryan Bostian. He moved to center field in the seventh, and Caleb Shore shifted from center to right field.
Snow went to a 3-0 count on the first batter, but 14 of his last 15 pitches were strikes. He came back to strike out Sam Allen, and Garrett Braun reached on an infield error. Aaron Meadows singled, and Dylan West drilled a ball toward the gap in right-center for a double. Pinch-runner Nick Lomascolo scored easily from second, and Mooresville coach Josh Graham held Meadows at third because Shore had cut off the ball.
He darted to his right, extended his glove and prevented the ball from bouncing to the fence.
“A game-saver,” Wright said.With one out and two runners in scoring position, Snow induced a shallow pop-up to right field. His second strikeout ended the game and extended Mooresville’s slump.
Aubrey Meadows allowed only four hits, but two errors helped South score three unearned runs.
Mooresville had an 11-0 division record nine days ago, but it has dropped four of its last six contests. One of the victories was a forfeit over Wilkes County.Lexington has clinched first place, and Mooresville must settle for second.
“(South) had four hits, and we gave up six runs ó that’s non-sense,” Graham said. “We were putting up 17, 18, 19 hits a game. You do that every night consistently, and then, all of a sudden, you get five, six, seven hits a night. They’ve changed their mentality at the plate, and they’re interested in other things other than baseball. It’s ridiculous.”
A comebacker deflected off Bostian’s glove before hitting his nose in the second inning, and Mooresville took a 2-0 lead. Bostian didn’t allow another run until the sixth, and a pair of three-run frames helped his cause.
Maverick Miles, who had two hits, laced a two-run triple in the third. South pulled ahead for good on Weston Church’s sac fly.
In the fourth, Snow followed Brett Huffman’s double with a homer and Bostian hit a sac fly.
“The defense stayed up, and we started hitting the ball,” said Bostian, who sported a small bruise on the side of his nose. “It gave me a good cushion to pitch behind and gave me a lot more confidence after that play.”
NOTE: Legion umpire J.T. Bost said the tiebreaker after head-to-head record is total runs allowed in the 18-game division schedule.