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Legion Baseball: South Rowan 10, Wilkes 6

By David Shaw
dshaw@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó The mercury continues to rise at South Rowan.
While the game-time temperature hovered near 90 degrees Monday night, Post 185/146 kept the heat on the rest of the Southern Division with a 10-6 win over visiting Wilkes.
“We’re not going down easily,” winning pitcher Alex Ingold said after South (10-3, 8-3) remained tied for first place with Rowan County. “We’re going to fight until we win ó whatever it takes.”
South needed nine dehydrating innings to put Wilkes (4-8, 3-7) on the canvas last night. It took 17 hits and a pair of Caleb Shore home runs to erase an early three-run deficit and secure SR’s fourth victory in its past five games.
“There’s a lot on the line right now,” said Shore, a reference to tonight’s first-place showdown with Rowan at Newman Park. “We’ve just got to keep hitting and keep moving forward.”
Wilkes fired the game’s first volley when it scored three runs on five hits in the top of the first inning. Ingold yielded four consecutive singles to open the game ó grounders that found holes and soft line drives that cleared the infield ó before settling down.
“There were some plays we didn’t make,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “But we did a good job battling back.”
Losing coach Terry Johnson had kind words for South’s defense, particularly infielder Matt Ingold. “We hit some atoms, shots right at them,” he said. “But their shortstop made some ridiculous plays. We were hitting it hard early, and if we’d continued that pace, it probably would’ve been a different ballgame.”
Instead, South found its mojo in the last of the third when it scored four times against Wilkes left-hander Tyler Jackson and took the lead for good. There was Matt Ingold’s two-out, two-run single to center that sliced the deficit to 3-2. Brett Huffman bounced an RBI single into left to tie the score and Blake Houston ó 11-for-16 in SR’s last four games ó drilled a run-scoring triple to right.
“I’m not saying we were looking ahead to (tonight),” said Huffman, who also cracked a second-inning double. “We were zoned in and took this game to heart. We had to make sure we came out on top.”
Shore took care of that. South’s cleanup hitter slammed his first home run on a 3-2 pitch from Wilkes reliever Brennan Daniels in the fifth inning, extending SR’s lead to 5-3. An inning later, with teammates Ryan Bostian and Julio Zubillaga aboard and two away, he extended his arms and muscled a 2-2 pitch from Daniels over the center-field wall for a 9-4 advantage.
“I was just glad there were people on base ahead of me,” Shore explained after going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. “Bostian had to come through with a hit for me to even come up. When I did, I just wanted to hit something solid.”
No one wore a broader smile than Lowman.
“When Brett doesn’t try to pull the ball and stays in the middle of the field, he’s a lot more effective,” he said. “We’ve got him in that 4-spot to drive in runs and be able to hit with men on base. He got some opportunities tonight and came through.”
South now turns its attention to Rowan, hoping to avenge the 13-12 loss it suffered to RC earlier this month.
“I mostly just want to go down there and compete,” said Lowman. “I want people who haven’t seen this team to know we’re 10-3 and we’re hanging around. I want them to see what we’re capable of.”

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