Prep Baseball: South Rowan 17, North Iredell 1
By Jordan Honeycutt
LANDIS óSouth Rowan lived to its name last night as it ěraidedî North Iredell with a 17-1 assault in five innings.
The popping of the gloves and pinging of the bats were the only signs of baseball season, as the weather produced a more football-like frigid and windy atmosphere.
South took advantage of the gusts as they hammered three long balls off North Iredell pitching.
Preston Penninger was the star of stars as he crushed two of the aforementioned homers in addition to his excellent performance on the mound, alowing only one run on four hits and striking out seven.
ěI just got out in front of a curveball on the first one that I didnít think was gone, but the second one was a belt-high, down-the-middle fastball that I knew I hit pretty well,î said Penninger.
Penninger was missing his spots and falling behind early in the opening inning as the ěotherî Raiders smacked three consecutive sharply-hit singles that plated an early run and it appeared that the home crowd may be in for a tough night, that is, before Penninger shut the door and the hit parade began.
ěI got behind in the first and didnít get on top of guys like I usually do, but luckily was able to settle down in the later innings and use my curveball better,î said Penninger
South capitalized on a North Iredell infield reminiscent of a ěBad News Bearsî movie. Eight of the 17 runs scored by South were unearned.
Assisting Penninger in victory were left-fielder Matt Miller, who belted the other homer and scored two runs, and catcher Eric Tyler, who was walked all four plate appearances and also chipped in a pair of runs.
After the game, a visibly frustrated and dejected North Iredell coach Danny Key said, ěI told our guys that we have absolutely got to change the culture of this program.
ěIím not going to sit around here all year long and watch this kind of effort. I will not accept poor work habits and effortless play.î
The frustration for North Iredell as a team appeared most evident in the bottom of the fourth inning, which seemed to last an eternity. In the inning, South scored seven runs and pushed a 10-1 lead to a 17-1 advantage.
Also pitching in with productive nights for South were designated hitter Cory Deason, who went 2-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base and second baseman Parker Hubbard, who enjoyed a 1-2 evening with two runs and several great plays in the field.
For North Iredell, the one bright spot amidst an otherwise black hole was pitcher Seth White.
White allowed only eight hits, picked ne up himself and scored a run, but in the end, was doomed by the defense behind him.
ěSeth threw a lot of pitches tonight and I wanted to get him out of there before I did, but he really wasnít throwing all that bad, guys just werenít making him look any better,î said Key.
South Rowan coach Thad Chrismon was satisfied.
ěI wanted our guys to score at least one run in every inning. I told them that the main thing we got from tonight and every game here out is improvement,î he said.
South improves its record to 3-1 on the early season.
ěThis game was important, as it is a conference game and every single one of those is crucial, so it is very satisfying to get this one under our belt and hopefully we can continue to work hard in practice, improve and if we do that, then I think this team could really be special,î said Chrismon.
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