Prep baseball: West Rowan 10, South Rowan 0

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2012

By Mike London
MT. ULLA — West Rowan’s baseball team had more than its share of low points in the 2011 season, but the lowest had to be South Rowan’s 16-run seventh inning in its visit to Mount Ulla.
South encountered a different West team on Friday and took a 10-0 NPC mauling in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
“We took care of the baseball tonight, and that’s what it’s all about,” West first baseman Louis Kraft said. “Justin Evans pitched a great game, and we all did our jobs.”
Evans was in command after getting out of a two-on jam in the first inning, and the next time he went out to the mound he had a 3-0 lead. The snappy 6-4-3 double play his teammates turned in the second helped him stay in charge.
“I had good offensive support and great defensive support,” Evans said. “My off-speed stuff was just working tonight. It’s not like I’m going to blow it by anybody.”
The lefty didn’t blow it by anybody, but he got ahead of hitters by throwing 14 first-pitch strikes. He worked in and out, up and down and fanned five.
“That’s two great outings in a row for Justin,” West coach Chad Parker said. “He pitched a heck of game against Mooresville his last time out.”
South tried to extend the game in the top of the fifth when it put runners at second and third with two out, but Evans got South slugger Eric Tyler to ground out to end it.
“Until that last inning, we didn’t even let them breathe on offense,” Parker said.
To put it nicely, the game was a defensive nightmare for South, which committed eight errors while getting 12 outs.
It would be easy say South played like the Bad News Bears — but that would be an insult to Amanda, Ahmad, Engleberg, Tanner Boyle, Kelly Leak and the rest of the Bears.
“We just finally had some breaks go our way tonight,” Parker said. “South made some mistakes and we capitalized on them every time.”
South (2-4, 0-2) was probably a slight favorite coming into the game, especially coming off a 13-5 romp against highly regarded Robinson 24 hours earlier. One South fan watched what was unfolding in Mount Ulla in disbelief. “We looked like the Phillies yesterday,” he said, his voice trailing off.
South coach Thad Chrismon is rarely at a loss for words, but he was practically speechless.
“I really don’t even want to say anything about how we played,” he said. “Just hats off to West for playing a clean game. They put the ball in play, they forced us to make plays, and we didn’t ’em.”
West scored three unearned runs in the first to get the snowball rolling.
Two more South errors helped the Falcons push their lead to 4-0 in the second.
West only had two hits , but both were doubles and both came in a six-run fourth that officially turned the affair into a rout. Evans socked a solid double to the opposite field, and Hunter Teeter slapped a two-run double that fell just in front of diving right fielder Austin Holbrook.
In between those doubles, South kicked it around some more, and Michael Pinkston was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The game will go in the books as the least favorite complete game of South hurler Dillon Parker’s career, but the right-hander wasn’t bad and deserved a better fate. Just three of West’s 10 runs were earned.
West (3-3, 2-0), which demolished Statesville on Tuesday by the 10-run rule, owns a two-game winning streak for the first time since 2010.
“Guys have been working hard, putting in the time to get better, and it’s starting to show,” Coach Parker said. “We started the year off a little slow (a 12-0 loss to Mount Pleasant), but maybe we’ve gotten all the ugliness out.”
The Falcons will find out if they’re for real or not next Tuesday. They’ll be at home against NPC co-leader East Rowan.