• 72°

Southern legion falls in home opener

LANDIS — If Southern Rowan had just one problem Monday night, it’s name would be Trace Hagler.
But SR had to more to worry about than the Kannapolis right-hander who baffled them for six shutout innings in a 7-1 non-league victory.
“We’ve just got to get more runners around the bases,” centerfielder Ben Gragg said. “Plain and simple. Get ‘em on and get ‘em over. That’s how you score runs.”
Southern (2-1) didn’t need a lesson in how-it’s-done, but it could have used better timing and more patience at the plate. Hagler — an A.L. Brown senior headed for UNC-Pembroke in August — was a master moundsman. His fastball and slider danced around SR’s bats and his sweeping curve had the hosts waving at pitches bathed in dirt and just off the plate.
“Everything was working tonight,” Hagler said after yielding two hits and notching 11 strikeouts. “And my catcher (Ryan Austin) did a great job keeping everything in front of him. South is a good-hitting team so we had to locate and keep them guessing all the time. I never threw the same pitch twice in a row.”
Southern starter Andrew Fulton had his own problems. Things went wrong in a hurry for the cagey lefthander. By the time he threw his 10th pitch Kannapolis (5-3) had a 2-0 lead, courtesy of the belt-high fastball C.J. White barbecued over the left-field fence.
“When he left the ball up, they hammered it,” said SR catcher Matt Honeycutt. Added Gragg: “When he left it up, those were the only times he got hurt.”
Fulton surrendered two more runs in the top of the second inning. It began when Adam Rivers turned a one-out single into a hustle-double. Then after recording a second out, Fulton allowed Austin’s RBI-single to left field and Josh Macek’s run-scoring double to the gap in right-center.
“We wanted to see what Fulton could do,” said Southern coach Ben Hampton. “We wanted to see what kind of distance and stamina he could us. We’re still waiting on the three Carson starters, but with playoffs last week they’re all limited.”
That bodes well for the league season, still two weeks away, but didn’t help last night. Fulton allowed six hits, four for extra bases, and walked three in 2 1/3 innings. Dylan Snider relieved and fared better — yielding two earned runs and six hits in 5 2/3. A bright spot was Owen White, a promising eighth-grader from West Middle School, who hurled a perfect ninth inning.
Southern trailed 5-0 by the time it broke through against reliever Josh Hall in the last of the seventh. Bo Corriher crunched a leadoff double off the fence in the left-center and moved to third on an infield error. He came home on a Hunter Travis groundout.
“We hit the ball hard,” said Gragg, who reached scoring position three times but never scored. “We’ve got the sticks. We just have to find the holes.”

NOTES: Southern hosts Mocksville on Wednesday night and plays at Rich Park on Thursday.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday