Legion Baseball: Kannapolis 11, South Rowan 7: They'll remember Seager's blast

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2012

By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS — “Seager, has, uh, untied it,” deadpanned South Rowan’s substitute P.A. man Ernie Faw on Saturday.
A week from now people will have forgotten that Kannapolis beat South 11-7 in American Legion baseball, but the gargantuan homer Kannapolis shortstop Corey Seager blasted will be talked about for the next 50 years.
“I finally got my hands through a ball,” said Seager, as he signed postgame autographs for an army of kids.
No one had ever seen anything quite like it, especially with a BBCOR bat.
“I took about six steps and then just watched it go,” South right fielder Tyler Fuller said. “That’s a man-child. Unbelievable power. They found the ball. It was down there at the fence around the football field. I thought maybe it was headed to the 20-yard line.”
There’s a light pole in South’s cavernous right-center where the ball departed the field. That pole is 410 feet from the plate and the ball was still screaming like a jet liner when it soared past.
So it went 460, 470, maybe more. It will be legendary.
South hurler Tyler Sides, an A.L. Brown guy, threw the pitch. He can tell his grandchildren about it.
South second baseman Connor Bridges had a perfect view of the shot.
“I’ve never seen a ball hit like that live,” he said. “Not that far and not that hard.”
Seager, the first-round pick of the L.A. Dodgers, hasn’t signed yet, even with roughly $2 million on the table.
“My advisor (Scott Boras) is handling all that, and I really don’t worry about it,” Seager said. “I’m just enjoying playing with these guys.”
Kannapolis (12-4, 11-4) is enjoying having him around. He also made two tremendous plays defensively. His arm is as impressive as his power.
“We were concerned about this game because we hadn’t played in eight days,” Kannapolis coach Joe Hubbard said. “But we got good hitting, pitching and defense. Corey really made some plays, made the difficult plays look easy.”
D.J. Smith and Jesse Klepper did the job on the mound.
Kannapolis got a three-run homer from Will Miller in the second, and Seager’s homer led off the third.
South (4-16, 2-13) took a brief 5-4 lead on a two-run double by Bridges, but Kannapolis, which pounded out 17 hits, settled the outcome with its five-run fifth.
Kannapolis got at least one hit from everyone in the lineup. Jarrin Hogue banged two doubles. Nate Sexton had a two-run single. Jordan Goodman pulled a ground-rule double that hopped off the right-field scoreboard 390 feet away.
“They can stroke it like no one we’ve seen,” Bridges said. “Seager is amazing, but it’s not just him. Goodman crushed one, and Hogue showed opposite-field power. That’s a good ballclub, a very impressive hitting team.”
Bridges, Fuller, Dylan Carpenter, Ben Gragg and Matt Honeycutt had two hits apiece for South, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
“We hit it better tonight,” Bridges said. “It’s all about pride and guts for us now. We’ll keep trying our best.”
NOTES: Kannapolis won’t have ECU signee Travis Watkins the rest of the way. The standout catcher/pitcher is attending summer school in Greenville. … “We’re OK catching-wise,” Hubbard said. “Arms-wise, it makes it even more critical that our starters go deep in ballgames.”