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Baseball: Kyle Henley homers, Denmark tops South Forsyth 8-3

By Keith Agran

For the Forsyth County News

Jamie Corr is quick to admit his club has played mostly the small-ball game on their way to first place in Region 6-7A. But if the wind is blowing right, he'll take some power production, and he has the sticks to do it.

"We certainly will [take the homers]," Corr said. "But you come to a great-looking ballpark like South, that does have a bit of short porch, and you've got some wind blowing out, you look for a pitch up in the zone, barrel it, and good things can happen."

The Danes mixed small-ball and power Wednesday night in their 8-3 road in over South Forsyth, wrapping out 13 hits, but it was a Kyle Henley kind of offensive night.

"Kyle did a great job tonight," Corr said. "Laying off pitches outside the zone and waiting for something to hit, and tonight he didn't miss it."

The junior centerfielder went 3-for-3, cranked a two-run homer over the center-field wall, scored a pair of runs, and stole three bases — all batting out of the five-hole. 

"Kyle's a guy that can do it in multiple positions," Corr said. "He can hit in the leadoff, of course, because he's a 6-foot-2 runner. He's great in the two-hole playing a small-ball game. We want to see a little more power production from him, so we moved him down into the five-hole and he comes through for us tonight."

The Danes scored in five of seven innings, seeming to counter South as it tried to chip away with single runs in the third and fifth, before a Brennan Hudson solo shot in the seventh capped the War Eagle scoring.

The visitors strung together two hits and an RBI groundout from Brody Wheeler in the first for a run, then put three on the board in the second as South starter Baylor Hicks [2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER] ran into some control struggles. He gave up a one-out single, a walk, then hit a batter to load the bases, after which another walk to Connor McGinn forced in a run to make it 2-0. 

A wild pitch brought in Chris Bradburn [3-for-3, 1 R] for a 3-0 lead, followed by a Francesco Capocci groundout, which plated Hayden Fox, and the Danes were up 4-0 after two innings and really never looked back.

The two-run third came off of Henley's blast. Henley then scored on a passed ball in the sixth, and McGinn and Capocci doubled back to back in the seventh to add the eighth and final run for the Danes.

Hudson was 2-for-3 to lead the War Eagles, with the homer and two RBIs.

Jacob Kruger got the start for Denmark and pitched three innings, giving up just three hits and an earned run while striking out five. Harry Harris [4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 K] went the final four innings to combine with Kruger on the seven-hitter.

It was Corr's plan to go with the two pitchers.

"I can't say enough about Jacob Kruger tonight," he said. "He stepped up for his team. He came out, he commanded two pitches in the zone, kept them off-balance, and we got some runs behind him which gave him more confidence, and he just dealt."   

The Danes are atop the Region 6-7A standings as the only two-loss team, but Corr knows there's a lot more baseball to be played.

"Being the only two-loss team right now is good," he said. "But this thing sure ain't over — far from over. We've got to come out every day and just focus on improving. That's our main goal."