Prep Baseball: West Rowan 10, Statesville 0
By Jordan Honeycutt
MOUNT ULLA — A slow start turned into a rapid and overpowering finish for West Rowan Tuesday as it blanked Statesville 10-0.
The Falcons turned to right-hander Michael Ball to get them off to a 1-0 North Piedmont Conference start –– and he delivered.
Ball pitched five innings, struck out eight and allowed only three hits, all singles, as the Greyhounds never threatened.
“My curveball was really working good for me tonight,” Ball said. “Also, for my team to only have one error and to get great run support made me not have to work so hard and not worry so much out there. Our defense was great tonight.”
While Ball was dropping Greyhounds at the plate, Statesville was dropping baseballs in the field. The Greyhounds committed three errors that led to seven Falcon runs.
“It’s nice to be 1-0 in the conference and I thought with Michael (Ball) giving us a great effort on the mound and our guys scoring runs, we did what we needed to tonight,” said West coach Chad Parker. “But there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Justin Evans and Hunter Teeter each had 2 RBI’s apiece to lead West’s offense.
“I saw that their pitcher was beginning to tire and lose control a bit and I told our guys to just be patient up there and hit good pitches,” Parker said. “We were able to do that in the later innings to finish the game,” Parker said.
West went into the fifth inning leading 8-0 and started the bottom of the frame with a Jacob Watson walk and a Chase Laing double.
After a bases loaded walk to Cody McNeely that plated the ninth run, Jamey Spurlin sent a ground ball to second that squeezed through to score the tenth and end it.
After Laing scored the clincher, Tyler Hamm came around from second and slid in for good measure, but his run didn’t count.
The ’Hounds could never get it going against Ball.
“We got some quality innings from our starter (Randy Rankins) early, but then we started kicking it all around the field too much and you can’t do that and expect to beat anybody,” Statesville coach Kenny Morrison said.
Rankins gave it his best shot and pitched well into the fourth inning, when signs of exhaustion were evident by his loss of control.
“We got one or two guys that give us quality innings out there and tonight I thought Randy proved that he could step up and do that for us,” Morrison said.
For the Falcons, the victory was a nice wake-up call after two straight losses to Mooresville and 4A Mount Tabor.
“We have to get back to work and get ready for a very good South Rowan team on Friday,” Parker said.” We just gotta make sure that we keep practicing and working hard and make sure we keep taking care of the baseball the way we did tonight.”