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Legion baseball: South Rowan 19, Mooresville 15

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó Maverick Miles’ second homer of the afternoon decided an American Legion game that wandered around in the woods more than Hansel and Gretel.
The pitching was generally shaky and the defense was often awful, but South powered its way to a 19-15 victory against visiting Mooresville in the first game of Friday’s day-night doubleheader.
“Probably it should have been a 7-6 game, but neither team made any plays to help out the pitchers,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “Not a single out could be taken for granted. Every out was precious. Out there in the heat like that, it was a test of wills.”
South scored eight runs in the second inning and still had to fight for its life against a Mooresville team that wiped out 12-6 and 15-10 deficits.
“Our pitching was so thin we felt like we didn’t have much of a chance in the first game and would try to win the second one, but Taylor Thurber threw well enough to give us a chance,” Mooresville coach Josh Graham said. “We could’ve packed it in the way things have gone for us this year, but we swung it some and South kicked it some.”
Brantley Horton had four hits for the Moors. Nathan Abraham knocked in four runs.
South piled up 21 hits, with Caleb Shore getting four and Miles, Brett Huffman and Julio Zubillaga contributing three apiece.
South starting pitcher Ryan Bostian only made it to the third. Weston Snow pitched well in relief, and South turned three double plays behind Snow, including a miraculous one in the fourth when Abraham rapped a groundball with one out and the bases loaded.
Miles, the second baseman, made an athletic play when the ball caromed wildly off South shortstop Matt Ingold. Miles plucked the ball out of the air barehanded while standing on the bag and threw to Huffman at first.
Miles said teammates described the play as either “nasty” or “sick,” modern adjectives for a pretty nice move.
“That double play was one of the wildest plays I’ve ever seen in my baseball days,” Horton said. “That’s when you know it’s not going your way. That’s sort of how it’s gone for us all summer.”
Zach Wright pitched a scoreless seventh for South, and Tyler Freeze’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning gave the home team a seemingly secure 15-10 lead.
Lowman sent sidearmer Will Misenheimer out for the eighth to slam the door, but Horton’s bunt single triggered a five-run inning that was capped by Abraham’s game-tying, three-run homer.
With the score tied at 15, Graham wanted to turn to lefty ace Nick Lomascolo to pitch the bottom of the eighth, but he wasn’t quite loose when the inning started. Abraham took the hill instead, and Miles welcomed him with a majestic homer to center field.
“The homer I hit in the first inning I thought was just a popup,” Miles said. “But that one I knew was gone as soon as I hit it.”
Lomascolo took the mound after Shore’s one-out double, but South added three more runs on a triple to deep right by Ingold, Huffman’s sac fly, a walk, a wild pitch and Misenheimer’s soft RBI single.
Mooresville put two men on with one out in the ninth, but Misenheimer got the final two outs on groundballs. Abraham was on deck when the game ended.
“We’re not playing real well defensively, and we’re not throwing enough strikes out of the bullpen,” Lowman said. “I’m just glad we were at home. Whoever hit last was gonna win this one.”
n
NOTES: Snow deserved the win, but Misenheimer “vultured” it after the Moors tied the game in the eighth. … Huffman snagged a foul popup running with his back to the infield in the third. Mooresville center fielder Chase LeVan reached over the fence to take a homer away from Bostian in the sixth. … Mooresville committed four errors during South’s eight-run second.

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