Legion Baseball: Kannnapolis 5, South Rowan 3
By Mike London
email@example.comLANDIS ó South Rowan pitcher Will Misenheimer was the losing pitcher in a 5-3 setback against Kannapolis on Saturday, but he turned in one of the more remarkable outings in program history.
Every single pitch he threw was that running fastball he delivers with a submarine motion.
No sliders. No changeups. All fastballs.
Misenheimer pitched into the ninth. He struck out one. He got 17 outs on groundballs in a game that moved right along.
“We wasted a great start,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “That’s because Tuttle matched Will pitch for pitch.”
“Tuttle” was Kannapolis right-hander John J. Tuttle, rudely treated May 30 by Rowan County, but back on his game against South. Tuttle lasted into the eighth inning, and Post 115 benefited from stout relief work by winner Ryan Goodman and Jacob Wright, who earned a save.
The key inning was the bottom of the eighth. Kannapolis (3-6, 3-4) led 3-2, but Tuttle was tiring. Blake Houston worked a leadoff walk, Ryan Bostian slapped a single to right, and Julio Zubillaga walked to load the bases. That ended Tuttle’s night and started Goodman’s.
“We didn’t have many good swings against Tuttle,” Lowman said. “But then he’s out of there. We had ’em right where we wanted them.”
South (6-2, 4-2) was definitely right where it wanted to be in the lineup ó No. 3 hitter Maverick Miles and cleanup batter Caleb Shore.
Goodman struck them both out.
“We went with the right kid at the right time,” Kannapolis coach Matt Stack said. “Ryan didn’t get scared. He didn’t worry about scouting reports. He just went after them.”
Goodman walked Matt Ingold to force in the run that tied the game 3-3, but he retired Brett Huffman on a routine flyball. The game went to the ninth deadlocked.
“That No. 12 (Goodman) competed,” Lowman said. “He threw strikes. He was just better than we were.”
Bostian led off the South first with a homer. Shore’s sac fly plated Zubillaga for a 2-0 lead.
Kannapolis got an unearned run in the second, then was silent until it broke through for two in the sixth. After Misenheimer hit a batter and issued his only walk, Wright’s flare to right brought in a run. Then Hunter Pate’s clean single gave the Wojans a 3-2 lead.
After Ingold’s bases-loaded walk tied the game again in the eighth, Kannapolis scored the deciding runs in the ninth. Pate blistered a leadoff double on the last pitch Misenheimer threw. After Ingold replaced Misenheimer, Bobby Zimmerman’s bunt single and Rashad Jackson’s HBP loaded the bases. Second baseman Jonathan Wallace, 0-for-3 with three groundouts, was up next.
“I’ve been in a bad slump, but (shortstop) Wesley Honeycutt told me. ‘Hey, there’s no way you can fail four times in a row.’ ”
Wallace didn’t fail. His solid single to right made it 4-3. One out later, Jordan Phillips walked to force home an insurance ran. South finally escaped the inning when Shore turned Honeycutt’s flyball to deep left into a double play.
Wright came in to close and got help from Wallace, who made a diving stop of a smash by Houston to end the game.
“Our first baseman (Jackson) told me he thought it was a bullet, but I got it,” Wallace said. “We needed this game.”
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