No knocks on wood for Southern

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2014

LANDIS — When your team is not hitting well, playing a game with wooden bats is not the necessarily the best cure.
Southern Rowan dropped a tight 4-3 decision to Stanly County last night at home, not because of the wooden bats but primarily due to misplays and missed opportunities. And they still had a great shot at the win.
Trailing Post 76 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Southern (3-4) got a surprise leadoff pinch hit from ace pitcher Dillon Atwell. Matt Saul then reached on an error and Chandler Corriher legged out a single in the hole at shortstop to make it 4-3.
When Ben Gragg walked, Southern had the bases loaded and one out with slugger Chase Labbe at the plate. But a hot shot to third baseman Sawyer Lee turned into a game ending double play, 5-2-3.
“We got what we wanted there,” winning coach Derek Barringer said. “It was a hard hit ball to one of our corner guys and worst case scenario the tying run doesn’t score. It was a good clean play.”
The loss wasted a solid outing for young Owen White in his first legion start. The eighth grader went six innings walked none but was charged with all four runs. Relievers Dylan Snider, Bo Coriher and Brandon Newton each threw a perfect inning but the offense couldn’t come through.
“ When you get pitching performances like that you have got to support them offensively and get the W.” Southern coach Ben Hampton said. “Right now if it is not one thing biting us it is another.”
Three times in the game, Southern had lead runners picked off at second base, including one each in the seventh and eighth. They also failed to get a couple of bunts down early, then made a misplay in the outfield that allowed a two run double by Noah Crisco.
Stanly (4-8) scored single runs in the first and second then the decisive two runs in the sixth. Southern scored twice in the sixth on two Post 76 errors and an RBI single by Colton Laws. But they also left he bases loaded.
Laws and Corriher had two hits for Southern while centerfielder Rusty Brown went a perfect 4 for 4 to lead the winners. Starter Brian Blanton got the win while White took the loss.
Each team managed eight hits with the wooden bats including a couple of doubles. It was coach Barringer’s idea to give the wood sticks a shot. “It was something we did for the players to have a little fun, break up the monotony and try something different,” he said.