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Baseball: Long ball carries South Forsyth past Forsyth Central

POSTED: March 22, 2017 9:44 p.m.
Brian Paglia/Forsyth County News

Teammates greet South Forsyth sophomore Landon Sims after one of his two home runs against Forsyth Central on Wednesday.

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South Forsyth’s Landon Sims had an explosive day Wednesday against Forsyth Central, going 2-for-3 with two 2-run homers.

But Sims wasn’t alone.

Bradley Prince Jr. and Grant Pearce also went yard in Wednesday’s 10-0 rout of Central in five innings.

South got to Central starting pitcher Ryan Cox right away. Cox has been a good No. 2 starter this season for the Bulldogs behind Vanderbilt commit Ethan Hankins, and he looked strong again early on, getting two quick outs to start the bottom of the first inning.

But then Max Schmal reached on an infield error. Schmal stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Pearce. On the very next pitch, Sims ripped a deep fly ball to left over the fence, and South led 3-0.

Sims connected again in the bottom of the third. Brett Graczyk worked a lead-off walk, but Cox got a pop-up and strikeout, almost done with a solid inning.

But Sims stepped to the plate and crushed a hanging breaking ball to give South a 5-0 lead.

The sophomore and Mississippi State commit struggled on the mound in Monday’s loss to Central, but South head coach Russ Bayer liked what he saw from him at the plate.

“It’s big to have kids put good swings on balls,” South head coach Russ Bayer said. “(Sims) put some good swings against Hankins on Monday, so why not leave him in there?”

South kept its foot on the accelerator. Bradley Prince Jr. hit a home run of his own in the fourth to give South a 7-0 lead. Just two batters later, Pearce connected with a low curveball for his seventh home run of the season.

“It’s better to be on offense than defense,” South head coach Russ Bayer said. “Our motto is to win every inning.”

Central had chances. The Bulldogs looked primed to score in the second with runners on first and second with only one out. Jacob Holton ripped a high fly ball to left field that was caught, but it deceived the runner on second, who was caught too far off the bag for an inning-ending double play.

Central didn’t get another hit until Evan Zaharchak got a two-out pinch-hit single in the fifth.

But South starter Ben Ferrer struck out Greg Wozniak to finish a strong outing and region win.

 

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