High school baseball: A dozen wins for East’s Dyer

Published 11:17 am Sunday, June 2, 2024

By Mike London

HOLLY SPRINGS  — East Rowan head coach Brett Hatley made two mound visits to pitcher Logan Dyer during Saturday’s overwhelming 11-3 win against South Central.

The first visit was one of those pleasant, pat-on-the-back, you-can-do-this sort of things.

“He was off a little at the start,” Hatley said. “It’s different pitching off turf. The mound was a little flatter than he’s used to. Just wanted to calm him down.”

The second trip to the mound was to chew Dyer’s butt a little bit.

Both conversations on the mound had the desired results.

Dyer, a bulldog of a right-hander headed to Catawba, got 20 of the 21 outs the Mustangs needed to secure the 3A State Championship at Ting Stadium. Cobb Hightower got the last one after Dyer reached the pitch count limit (120) in the bottom of the seventh.

“Logan is one of those guys you can coach hard and he’ll respond,” Hatley said. “He’s tough. He wants to be coached. He wants to compete. I just wanted him to pound the strike zone more with the lead, and he did that.”

East finished 34-2, a record for NCHSAA baseball, and the three main starters — Dyer, Harrison Ailshie and Joe Burleyson — combined to go 27-0.

Dyer (12-0), who had labrum surgery last summer, is the first Mustang to win a dozen games in a season in this century.

Dyer allowed three-runs in the bottom of the second. The two-out double by Mason Hobbs that scored all three South Central runs didn’t upset Hatley all that much because Hobbs is a .500 hitter, and a guy like that is going to win the battle sometimes. What Hatley didn’t like was the two walks that helped fill the bases and preceded that double.

“I was wild at the start, but I got settled in,” Dyer said.

Dyer settled in for the long haul as he almost always does and put up some zeroes. He walked three for the game, struck out four, held the Eastern champs, who finished 24-6, to seven hits.

“His pitch count was getting up there, 95 pitches after five innings,” Hatley said. “But I knew in a game like this I was going to have to fist-fight him to take the ball away from him. He was at 104 pitches through six and we had an eight-run lead. I know he’s got a future at Catawba, but I also know how bad he wanted to finish it.”

Part of Dyer’s success could be attributed to Burleyson, who caught him, and assistant Ethan Free,who calls the pitches for the Mustangs.

A lot of people were proud of Dyer on Saturday, including his grandfather, Kelly Sparger, one of the coaches who got him started in the game.