F&M Bank Classic: South Rowan 7, Mt. Pleasant 6

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2012

By Marny Hendrick
KANNAPOLIS — Dylan Goodman has established himself as the guy South Rowan wants at the plate with the game on the line.
The junior outfielder delivered a clutch, one-out single in the bottom of the eighth to secure a 7-6 win for the Raiders over the Mt. Pleasant Tigers Thursday evening. It was the second walk-off winner for Goodman this season and gave South an opening-day victory in the F&M Bank Classic at CMC-NorthEast stadium.
“I just try to get good pitches to hit and put the ball in play,” Goodman said afterward. “We want to win this thing but also use it as a learning experience for the rest of the season.”
Goodman’s single saved the day for South after it allowed the Tigers to rally in the seventh with four hits and two runs to tie the game at 6-6.
In the top of the eighth, Aaron Bare mowed down the Tigers in order with two strikeouts and a groundout.
In the bottom half, South put the winning run on when Parker Hubbard took a pitch off the helmet from Garrett McDonald. Jonnie Lefebvre drew a one-out walk to move Hubbard into scoring position. Goodman then laced the second pitch into the gap in left-center to end the game.
The Raiders gave Goodman a modified dogpile to congratulate him as they moved to 11-7 on the season. Mt. Pleasant, which is battling for a play-off spot in the SPC, fell to 8-8.
South coach Thad Chrismon said his team came to the tournament to win, but “we are also trying to get better with every situation we encounter. It was a good game for us.”
Chrismon praised his three pitchers — starter Austin Holbrook, Billy Winecoff and finally Bare — with overcoming adversity and “pitching out of some good situations.”
Chrismon also had high praise for Goodman.
“Dylan has good discipline and it’s good to see him come up in a key situation and drive in some runs,” he said.
Goodman actually delivered another clutch hit early after the Tigers had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. South responded by working MP starter Jake Kimble for two walks and an error to load the bases with two outs. Goodman then smacked a 3-2 pitch up the middle to knot the score. South expanded the lead to 5-2 in the second by playing small ball. A walk, two sacrifice bunts and Hubbard’s single past third made it 3-2.
Bubba McLaughlin grounded to second for a potential double play, but the shortstop’s throw to first sailed wide and allowed two more Raiders to score.
Mt. Pleasant chipped away in the third on Jacob Rawson’s two- run single to center. South added an insurance run in the fifth on three walks and two wild pitches off reliever Blain Hooks. At the same time, South reliever Winecoff was mowing the Tigers down in the fifth and sixth to hold the lead.
South’s lead did evaporate in the top of the seventh, but Goodman made sure the story had a happy ending.
Mount Pleasant coach Bryan Tyson shrugged off the tough loss saying, “We’re just using these three days to try some things and get ready for the stretch run starting next week.”
South is doing the same, but the Raiders also are enjoying the wins. They’ll try to keep it going in Friday’s 7 p.m. game against arch-rival A.L. Brown.