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Legion baseball: South Rowan 10, Western Forsyth 0

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
CLEMMONS ó South Rowan’s Matt Ingold was as surprised as anyone when he sent a liner crashing off the scoreboard above the left-field fence Sunday evening.
“First home run since Little League,” Ingold said. “I’d call it a combination of luck and this field.”
Ingold was playing at West Forsyth High School on a diamond known as “The Vatican” in honor of Randy Pope, West’s long-time coach. There are no listed dimensions, but the fences are short and the green hitting background is excellent.
South hitters enjoyed “The Vatican,” outhomering a pair of opponents 6-0 in the Erik Walker Memorial Tournament. South got homers from Ingold, Maverick Miles and Brett Huffman in wiping out Western Forsyth 10-0 in a game scheduled for seven innings and shortened to five by the 10-run rule.
Ingold also pitched four shutout innings, so he was most of the story.
“It seems like we’ve only been bringing Matt into games where he’s got an opportunity to lose the lead,” South coach Michael Lowman said. “That hasn’t really been fair to him. With our pitching taxed as much as it’s been, we wanted to give him a chance to start and see what he could do. He threw strikes. He worked fast. Great job.”
Northern Division champion Western Forsyth (16-6) sent knuckleballer Justin Wall to the mound to start the game.
Knuckleballers are rarities, but South adjusted. Tyler Freeze’s RBI double and Miles’ mammoth three-run homer knocked Wall out in the second inning.
“We watched him warm up and figured out he was like the (Tim) Wakefield guy for the Red Sox,” Miles said. “My first at-bat, I was dropping my hands and popping up fouls. My second at-bat, I got on top of one. I got all of it.”
Ingold’s homer opened the third inning and made it 6-0. South got four more runs in the fourth, an inning capped by Huffman’s wicked, two-run shot that stayed fair as it hooked down the left-field line.
South right fielder Blake Houston made the play of the day after Western Forsyth loaded the bases against Ingold in the fourth. Houston went flying through the air to snag a line drive, then quickly got to his feet and doubled a runner off first base. It likely would have been a three-run triple had Houston not made a spectacular catch.
“You can’t teach that, can’t coach that kind of speed and athletic ability,” Lowman said. “That was just an athlete making a great break on the ball and making a play. Then Blake was aware enough to get the double play.”
Houston came in to pitch his first inning of the summer in the fifth. He allowed two hits but no runs.
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NOTES: South will be the No. 2 seed for the playoffs and opens a best-of-five, first-round series Friday at home. South’s opponent is anyone’s guess. The regular season concludes today and includes a Mooresville-Wilkes doubleheader. Pairings are to be finalized Tuesday. … Ryan Bostian nearly scored the 100th run of his career but was called out at the plate. Bostian needs two runs to top Daniel Wagner’s program record. … The North-South All-Star Game at Asheboro is set for Wednesday.

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