Legion Baseball: High Point 21, South Rowan 13

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

By David Shaw
LANDIS — It’s already been a long season for the South Rowan Legion baseball team.
Saturday night’s opener against High Point took more than three-and-a-half hours to complete and raised more questions than it answered.
“What we found out,” coach Michael Lowman said after host South lost 21-13, “is that we’ve got a lot of improvements to make. We’ve got a lot of positions that are unsettled — second base, everything in the outfield. We’ve got a lot to work on.”
Lowman didn’t have to mention pitching after Post 87 assaulted SR’s staff. The guests collected 20 hits, cracked four home runs and were going through their batting order for the seventh time when the game mercifully ended.
“That’s one of the longest games I’ve ever played,” veteran Maverick Miles said. “They’re a good offensive team, but so are we. I guess they outpitched us.”
Nobody stood out on the mound, although winning pitcher Pete Marois temporarily smoothed the edges after High Point starter Houston Harrington — a Newberry College product — yielded eight runs and retired only three batters.
“He’s a college guy who didn’t get much of a look,” winning coach Rob Shore said after HP squared its record at 1-1. “I’m trying to give him a shot.”
Miles accomplished that in the bottom of the second inning when he smashed Harrington’s final pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run homer, providing an 8-6 South lead.
“It was a curveball way outsided,” Miles said after going 3-for-6 with four RBIs. “I just pulled the heck out of it.”
Meanwhile, South starting pitcher Matt Miller looked like an off-balance trapeze artist. He persevered into the third inning but was charged with 10 runs allowed — all but two of them earned — and surrendered second-inning home runs by Cameron George and Michael Whited.
“None of our pitchers were getting the ball down,” South catcher Joseph Basinger explained. “That’s how you get hammered.”
Most damaging was the bat of Whited, who crunched a pair of home runs and drove in five. Teammate Seth Beane was 4-for-5 with four RBIs and mid-game replacement Kyle Morrison belted a rub-it-in solo home against Ethan Wansley, the fifth of six SR pitchers, in the top of the ninth.
“I think we came out sluggish, not prepared to play,” Basinger said. “We weren’t as aggressive as we should have been. Still, 13 runs should be enough to beat any team.”
Bright spots for South were hard to find. It committed four infield errors, leading to seven unearned runs. Other than Miles, only Kyle Bridges (3-for-5, four runs scored) fared well at the plate. Middle reliever Jordan Kennerly allowed only one earned run in 21/3 innings of turn-off-the-spigot work.
“It’s not the loss. It’s the way we lost,” Lowman said afterward. “We didn’t compete or play very well. I can take getting beat, but we didn’t put a very good product on the field tonight.”
Added Miles, “It’s a non-league game but it is a big deal. We need to see what kind of team we’re gonna be.”

NOTES: South plays another non-leaguer against Mooresville Post 66 at Lake Norman High School tonight. Lefty Dylan Walker is expected to start.