Prep Baseball: South Rowan 11, Statesville 0

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2011

By Ryan Bisesi
STATESVILLE — After tough losses to Carson and Central Cabarrus earlier in the week, South Rowan was in need of a trip to winless Statesville for its most important victory of the year.
At least South Rowan coach Thad Chrismon felt that way.
“I try to tell these guys that every conference game is the most important game of the season,” Chrismon said. “Baseball is a funny game. The best thing about baseball is everybody’s got a chance to win.”
The Greyhounds had a chance, hanging around for a few innings before South gathered itself and disposed of its host in an 11-0 win in six innings. It gave the Raiders (6-4, 4-1) their fourth win in five 3A North Piedmont Conference games, a pleasant start heading into next Tuesday’s big clash with East Rowan in showdown between the teams at the top of the NPC standings.
In a game that featured first baseman 5-foot-11, 270-pound Preston Penninger’s first stolen base of his career, starter Matt Miller, Tyler Corriher and Daniel Mullis all threw two innings each for South in the win. The trio struck out 13 batters, allowing four hits and two walks. Miller, the Raiders’ No. 1 pitcher, threw 40 pitches and got all six of his outs via strikeout. Corriher struck out three in his two innings while Mullis sat down four.
“We kind of split the game up on purpose,” Chrismon said. “We had them on a pitch count and they all did their job.”
The Raiders won the game without an extra-base hit, making it up with nine stolen bases.
“We’re going to win with our pitching, defense and manufacturing runs,” Chrismon said. “We were concentrating on this game as far as playing our baseball. Good pitching, good defense and trying to do the little things at the plate.”
South’s first hit of the night came on a bunt single from Tyler Kowalczyk, who scored on Eric Tyler’s single into left. Tyler, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound sophomore catcher, drove in three runs, including when he coaxed a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the second to make it 3-0. He hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth as well.
“You have to make sure everybody is going up there with a good approach and just sit back,” Tyler said.
Dylan Goodman scored later in the inning as South led 4-0 after two. Miller struck out the side in the bottom of the inning and went to left field in the third.
“Three pitchers came in and threw strikes and worked ahead,” Chrismon said. “We played great defense behind them.”
The Raiders added four more runs in the fourth. Penninger singled home a run before Miller was hit by a pitch from Boris Salvador to put ducks on the pond. Jacob Dietz hit a fly ball to right field that went off the glove of Jerry Jones to score a pair.
Parker Hubbard reached base in all four at-bats for the Raiders, stole four bases and scored four runs despite not having a hit. Hubbard walked twice, reached on an error, and went to first on a wild strike 3. Hubbard scored the 10th run on a passed ball in the sixth.
Goodman had an RBI infield single to push the last run across.
Statesville catcher Matt Bowers was the lone Greyhound to have multiple hits with two singles.
South relished the win for a brief stint before glancing ahead to its intracounty rival.
“It’s always a big game,” Tyler said of South and East. “We’ll be ready and they’ll be ready.”