Legion baseball: South Rowan 6, Stanly 2
By Mike London
LANDIS ó This is the 10th straight summer that South Rowan Legion coaches have been able to count on one of the three Shore brothers.
Ronnie and Brett rank third and fourth all-time at South in hits, but the last of the Shore siblings is the one blessed with power.
Left fielder Caleb Shore crushed a two-run homer in the first inning Monday against Stanly to get South started toward a 6-2 win that was its sixth straight.
“Caleb got a 2-0 fastball, down and in, and he was ready,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “He put one of the prettiest swings of the season on it.”
It was Shore’s 13th Legion homer, tying him with Ryan Wilson and Daniel Wagner for third on South’s all-time list. Rudy Brown hit 14. South assistant Andrew Morgan holds the program record with 16, but from the looks of Shore’s swing, Morgan won’t have bragging rights much longer.
Shore was playing in his fourth game with South after spending his freshman year in college as an outfielder for a Belmont Abbey team that reached the Division II World Series.
“Actually, I was struggling with the bat until that ball I hit hard off the fence at Lexington Sunday,” Shore said. “Since then, every swing has felt good.”
Shore homered off Adrian Shepherd, a quality pitcher he knows well. They once were teammates on the Carolina Sox showcase squad.
Off to the best start in its history, South (6-0, 4-0) made four errors but also got a great running catch from right fielder Blake Houston in the fourth and two stellar plays from infielder Maverick Miles. As the second baseman, Miles made a leaping catch in the fifth. As the shortstop, he made a diving catch in the ninth.
On the mound, South got nice work from starter Alex Ingold as well as relievers Weston Snow and Matt Ingold.
Alex Ingold was staked to a 2-0 lead on Shore’s shot to the parking lot. He allowed a run in the second and plunked hitters back-to-back in the third, but then he started pitching to contact ó and rolled.
“My goal was no walks, and I accomplished it,” Ingold said. “It feels really good to be on a team that’s 6-0.”
Ingold’s teammates finally gave him another run to work with in the sixth when Miles singled, advanced twice on wild pitches and came home on Shore’s flare to right field.
“Just lucky the infield was playing in,” Shore said. “Otherwise, that’s a popup to the second baseman.”
Ingold lasted into the seventh, finally exiting with two out and two on.
Zach Wright relieved, wild-pitched a run home and walked the bases full.
Snow got the call and got South out of the seventh on an infield popup.
Miles drove in a huge insurance run in the South seventh with a two-out triple that he mashed 400 feet to right-center. Then he dashed home on a passed ball to make it 5-2.
South turned a double play in the eighth, but two errors put Snow in a jam. Lowman visited the mound with runners at second and third and leadoff man Justin Culp at the plate.
“I went out there to see how Weston was reacting,” Lowman said. “He told me he wanted the next guy. I told him. ‘OK, Weston, you’ve got him.’ ”
Snow got that huge out. He retired Culp on a routine flyball.
South added a run in the eighth when Houston’s two-out, opposite- field double scored Brett Huffman.
Then closer Matt Ingold nailed down the last three outs of the game.
South is home tonight against Rowan County, which is also unbeaten in the division.