South Legion opens on road

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 24, 2012

Staff report
South Rowan opens the American Legion baseball season tonight with a game with Mooresville Post 66 at Lake Norman High. It won’t count in the league standings.
South head coach Michael Lowman is a Catawba assistant and the Indians are in the Division II World Series for the first time, so assistant Brian Goodnight will take the helm for South’s early games, with recent South star Blake Houston assisting.
South athletic officer Mike Fisher indicated the program is still trying to sort out the talent from an unusually large turnout, and Lowman has only been able to spend a couple of hours evaluating the team.
“We’re blessed with 30 guys out here, but with the new rules, only 18 of them can be in uniform,” Fisher said. “That means we’ll be mixing things up a lot in the early games that don’t count in the league. The same 18 won’t dress every game.”
The date to turn in a final roster of 18 players is still June 23.
South has a core group of players from the South Rowan High team that won 18 games and reached the fourth round of the 3A playoffs.
The Legion team won’t have catcher Eric Tyler or outfielder/picher Dillon Parker — those two will be playing showcase ball — but it will have middle infielders Parker Hubbard and Eric Goldston, pitchers Matt Miller, Aaron Bare, Jordan Kennerly and Austin Holbrook, first baseman Bubba McLaughlin and outfielders Dylan Goodman and Tyler Fuller.
Carson won 19 games this season, and South has a number of Cougars practicing, led by pitchers Dillon Atwell and Austin Bracewell, shortstop/pitcher Josh Martin, third baseman Connor Bridges, catcher Scottie Hinson and outfielder Dylan Carpenter.
Players trying out that have been out of high school a year include pitcher Patrick Hampton (West) and first baseman Kyle Bridges (Carson).
Salisbury High’s Nolan Meyerhoeffer, an outfielder, was released by Rowan County and is trying out.
South’s talent pool has expanded with the addition of some A.L. Brown players. With Kannapolis shifting its base school to Northwest Cabarrus, quite a few Wonders live closer to South Rowan than to Northwest.
Among the Wonders competing for positions are infielders C.J. Powell and Caleb Jackson, catcher Ryan Austin and pitcher/infielder Tyler Sides.
All four were key players for Brown. Powell was the leadoff man, while Jackson was the cleanup hitter.
Fisher indicated Kennerly and Sides will see mound duty against Mooresville Post 66.
Miller is the probable hurler for Saturday’s league game at Kannapolis. Atwell is scheduled to pitch the first league home game against Statesville on May 28.
South struggled to a 10-17 mark in 2011, but it was 26-14, 22-17, 17-9 and 26-8 the four previous seasons.