• 66°

South Rowan advances to Classic championship game

By David Shaw

sports@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — Doing the little things paid off for South Rowan in Thursday’s F&M Bank High School Baseball Classic semifinal.

So did a couple of big swings.

The Raiders spent seven innings playing small-ball against Northwest Cabarrus, massaging one run — then a second, then a third — across the plate. In the eighth inning, they received clutch hits from Tyler Shepherd and Blake Johnson and surged to a 7-3 victory.

“Our team motto is ‘Finish,'” Johnson said at Intimidators Stadium, where South (9-4) earned a berth in tonight’s championship game against Lake Norman, weather permitting. “When they scored three runs to tie it up, we knew we weren’t finished.”

Johnson and Shepherd each delivered two-out, two-run hits against Northwest reliever Blake Sinclair in the final inning. With the score knotted and the bases loaded, Shepherd lined a 1-2 pitch into left field that plated teammates Austin Corriher and Walker Joyce. Two pitches later, Johnson barbecued an 0-1 fastball into the right-center gap for a two-run triple.

“We’re just trying to play good baseball,” coach Thad Chrismon said after South won its fourth straight game. “Trying to take good at-bats, trying to be confident at the plate and really concentrating on driving in runs. It’s all about getting key hits. It took us a little while to get going tonight, but we came through in the end.”

The beneficiary was Corriher. A senior right-hander, he allowed one earned run and struck out four in three innings of nerve-wracking relief. Northwest (4-8) put four runners on base in the last of the sixth inning, one in the seventh and two more in the eighth before infielder Cal Hubbard struck out to end the game.

“I settled in pretty well,” Corriher said after notching his first win. “I was just trying to finish what we started. It felt good to know to know you did your job.”

South opened the scoring in the top of the first against Northwest starter Carson Bost. Leadoff batter Dawson Larrimore drilled a triple to gap in right-center and quickly scored on a wild pitch. In the Raiders’ fourth, Peyton Penninger steered a single into right, Shepherd reached on an error and pinch-hitter Colsen Childers drew a walk, loading the bases with one away. Bost’s second wild pitch of the night made it 2-0 and Larrimore’s sacrifice fly gave South a three-run lead.

Meanwhile, South starter Dillon Norton, a junior lefty, pitched three innings of scoreless ball. He allowed one hit and walked four before yielding to middle reliever Austin Chrismon, who surrendered Northwest’s first run on a fifth-inning groundout. Corriher entered in the sixth and allowed two runs, one when he hit Jamie Baker with an eratic, bases-loaded pitch and another on a Cal Hubbard’s groundout.

“When (Corriher) first came in he was messing up a little bit,” Coach Chrismon said. “Then he got a feel and his second and third innings I thought were really good. He kept us going.”

He kept them going until Shepherd and Johnson helped South secure the victory. “Shep got the big hit,” Johnson said with a post-game smile. “He took all the pressure off me. I just went up there trying to help the team.”

Tonight’s final against Lake Norman (10-2) is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. “I don’t even know who we’re playing,” Johnson said. “We’re just going to approach it like any other game, play-by-play and pitch-by-pitch.”

Lake Norman as won nine of their last 10 games, including Thursday’s 10-0, five-inning rout of Parkwood.

South Rowan       100  200  04 — 7   9   1

NW Cabarrus      000  012  00 — 3   6   2

WP — Austin Corriher (1-1). LP — Blake Sinclair.

Leading hitters — South: Walker Joyce 2-for-4; Blake Johnson 3B, 2 RBI; Tyler Shepherd 1-for-3, 2 RBI. NWC: Alex Rodriguez 2-for-3; Jamie Baker 1-for-2, RBI.

 

 

Comments

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns

Business

Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates

Crime

Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft