Legion Baseball: South Rowan 20, Mooresville Legends 2

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Jordan Honeycutt
MOORESVILLE — Whereas lightning might have prematurely ended South Rowan’s game Tuesday night, Wednesday’s game also ended early, due to South’s offense and stellar pitching.
South (6-11, 5-7) prevailed over the Mooresville Legends in what was probably the most entertaining 20-2 game ever played.
Starter Dylan Walker was peerless on the mound, as he went the full seven innings, only allowing two runs on four hits.
Walker flirted with a no-hitter until it was broken up by a fifth-inning single.
“It was definitely on my mind,” Walker said. “You try not to think about it too much but I couldn’t help it.”
South scored their 20 runs on 11 hits and coaxed Legends pitchers into issuing 11 walks.
“I think our guys seem to have more confidence since that comeback win over Rowan,” South coach Michael Lowman said.
“We are catching more lucky breaks and hitting much better while still getting great efforts from our pitching.”
Following South’s 12-run sixth inning, where it put the game out of reach, a moment occurred that was as scary as it was volatile.
Midway through the sixth, Matt Miller delivered a line drive single and Joseph Basinger was attempting to score from second on a bang-bang play at the plate.
The ball arrived simultaneously with Basinger and Legends reserve catcher Brandon Moore felt the effect, as Basinger crashed into Moore, jarring the ball loose and leaving Moore writhing in pain.
Shouts of disapproval rang out from the Legends bench and fans.
Legends coach Jeff Burchett strolled to the mound and brought in hard-throwing Kyle Phillips from center field to pitch to Kyle Bridges.
The first pitch Phillips threw went way behind the head of Bridges, as if to send a message. Even more shocking, the next offering found Bridges’ dome and caused a couple of players from both teams to exit the dugout.
A frustrated Bridges tossed his bat into the mesh netting behind him in dismay and, along with Phillips, was ejected from the game.
“I knew he was going to hit me,” Bridges said.
“I wasn’t mad that he did it, what made me upset was the laughing and mocking that he (Phillips) and their players and coaches were doing.”
Lowman had his own take on the event, as did Burchett.
“Joe (Basinger) plays agressive with a football-like mentality and their guy was up the line a bit,” Lowman said. “And with Kyle, the first try to hit him missed and that should have been their one chance to retaliate,”
Burchett, obviously dejected after a 20-2 defeat, added “I understand that it’s baseball and contact happens sometimes, but with them being up 10 runs, why do that?”
“I don’t fault their coaches for it and they are just all kids out here, but I was upset at the fact that Basinger launched into our catcher,” Burchett said.
Basinger also had his own say about the collision.
“I came around third fast and looked at the ball and knew it was going to be close,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hit the guy that hard. I thought I slowed down a bit, but I just knew I had to score.”
Amid all the chaos, South’s second baseman Parker Hubbard was one of the offensive stars, as he belted a two-run homer to opposite field.
Hubbard, known more for his glove that power, has been hot of late for the visitors.
“I’ve been working on my hitting to opposite field a lot and we did today at batting practice before the game,” Hubbard said.

NOTE: South will enjoy some rest, if only for one day, before playing host to Concord Friday night and Mocksville on Saturday.