Prep baseball: South Rowan wins 11-1

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 10, 2015

By Mike London

LANDIS — It’s not how hard you hit it, it’s where you hit it, and South Rowan’s baseball team beat Concord 11-1 on Monday night, with a barrage of bloops, bunts and bouncers.

South Rowan head coach Thad Chrismon has mastered an extensive vocabulary of baseball jargon and offered his first “duck snort” of the young season. The game ended on Chandler Corriher’s “duck snort” that fell in front of the diving left fielder. That hit drove home the last two runs and made it a 10-run-rule game.

South Rowan amassed 16 hits according to the scorebook of assistant coach Bubba Morris, but laid end to end, they traveled roughly as far as the wicked line-drive homer by Concord catcher Matt Panner that accounted for the Spiders’ lone run.

Corriher and Eric Stowe had three hits each. Hunter Travis and Eric Finger had two apiece.

As 11-1 games go, this one was closer than most. South Rowan (2-0, 2-0 SPC)  was ahead 4-1 when it scored seven times while conducting a small-ball clinic in the bottom of the sixth inning.

South Rowan fans were still very worried in the fifth inning when the Raiders were clinging to a 2-1 lead and Concord got back-to-back, two-out singles to bring Panner to the plate. But South pitcher Blake Johnson got a ground ball, and shortstop Peyton Penninger made a nice play and strong throw.

“We made really good defensive plays at key times,” Chrismon said.

Johnson, a lefty who pounds the strike zone, hit a batter but didn’t walk anybody. He  looked like he might be in for a difficult night when the first three Spiders stroked the ball solidly.

“I was a little worried,” Johnson said. “But I just kept throwing strikes and tried to keep it low. Our defense had a great night. Even when they hit it hard, guys took care of it.”

Concord had a quality pitcher on the mound in lefty Tyler Thomas, but his defense did not have a great night.

“We hustled down the line on ground balls and we hurried them into some errors,” Stowe said. “We had a good game plan against their pitcher, and Blake did the rest. He did what he always does, He was himself, and we made the plays behind him.”

South Rowan’s seven-run sixth inning started with a nice bunt hit by Tyler Rary, and then Corriher also had a bunt single. Pinch-hitter Colson Childers laid down a sacrifice bunt, and with runners at second and third, Concord coach Jaymie Russ had little choice but to bring his infield in.

Travis then rapped a ground ball that may have been a double play with the infield at normal depth. Instead, it scooted through for a two-run single, and the Raiders’ huge inning snowballed from there.

“We were facing a pitcher who can shove it, so I was very pleased with how we executed offensively,” Chrismon said.

South Rowan has a big home game today against West Rowan (4-0, 1-0). The contest follows the 4 p.m. jayvee game.

Concord   001 000  — 1

S. Rowan  020 117 — 11

W — Johnson (1-0). L — Thomas (0-1)

HR — Panner.