Prep Baseball: South Rowan 8, North Rowan 1: Miles hits for cycle
By Mike London
SPENCER ó South Rowan junior Maverick Miles has won a state championship in the pole vault and has made two all-county baseball teams.
Fans found out Friday he has a hidden talent ó cycling.
Miles’ first swing of the 2009 season produced a majestic three-run homer to left that jump-started the Raiders to an 8-1 victory at the North Rowan diamond.
Miles tripled to the center-field fence in the second.
He sizzled a single up the middle in the fourth, then completed hitting for the cycle by lashing a double to left to lead off the seventh.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it,” Miles said. “I was kinda thinking about it once I got the homer and the triple so early. On the double, I was trying to decide whether to run to third or not, but I heard people yelling for me to stay at second.”
The ball was kicked around a bit in left field, so it would have been a double ó plus an error ó had he reached third, but the bottom line is cycles are rare.
There were only four in Major League Baseball in 2008. There have been 284 MLB cycles since 1882.
Cycling in just four at-bats in a seven-inning high school game is something Miles, who recently committed to High Point, will remember. He latched on to a couple of the baseballs he bruised for keepsakes.
“Maverick’s a special kid,” North coach Rob Linder said. “And South’s got him for another year.”
New South coach Thad Chrismon ó still undefeated ó knows what Miles can do. After all, he hit .407 in the NPC as a sophomore.
But a key to South’s season is going to be getting guys on in front of him so he can produce runs and guys coming through behind him so he’ll get some strikes to swing at.
So far, so good. Blake Houston and Alex Ingold set the table for Miles’ three-run homer in the first inning, and Jordan Corriher and Preston Penninger had good days behind him. Penninger crushed a homer leading off the third for a 4-0 lead. Corriher went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring single in the fourth that bumped South’s lead to 6-0.
“Our approaches at the plate were very good,” Chrismon said. “Corriher was near-perfect up there and was a shining part of our day at bat and in the field. He was adjusting every at-bat and adjusting based on the count. He had a really good hit battling with two strikes.”
Ingold, who missed the 2008 high school season with a broken wrist, was sharp on the mound. He blanked the Cavaliers for five innings and struck out six.
“My arm felt pretty good, and thankfully, we had Maverick swinging the bat and a lot of hitting,” Ingold said. “For an opening day, it was about all you could ask for.”
J.D. Bare, also coming back from an injury, pitched the last two innings for the Raiders. North nicked him for an unearned run in the sixth when Patrick Snider and Kyle Munday singled, and Miles, the new shortstop, rushed and bobbled a grounder that could have been an inning-ending double play.
“I’m just glad we were able to scratch out a run,” Linder said. “It was better than we started out last year.”
North lost 10-0 to South in five innings to open the 2008 season in Linder’s debut.
South made several good plays. A running catch in right field by Jacob Jester led to a double play, and second baseman Jacob Dietz started a game-ending double play that Miles turned.
The Cavaliers’ best chance to make it close came in the second when Wes Barker batted with two away and the bases loaded. Barker ripped a line drive, but Corriher, the third baseman, plucked it out of the air to end the threat.
The Laurens brothers, Drew and Matt, pitched for North. Matt looked good in three relief frames. The only hit off him was Miles’ double.