As Rowland Hall junior pitcher Scott Silverstein stepped to the plate in the first inning Thursday, South Summit coaches yelled at their outfielders to back up. Silverstein and his smooth stroke calmly knocked the ball into a hole in left field, scoring the first two runs of the game for Rowland Hall.
The pitcher helped himself to the win, going 4-for-4 at the plate with six RBIs to lead the Winged Lions to a 10-2 win over the visiting Wildcats.
“The guy is unreal,” Rowland Hall coach Ben Voegele said, “He has wisdom beyond his years. You don’t have to say a lot — that’s what makes it easy on our end.”
While Silverstein and sophomore Drew Dischmann were a perfect 8-for-8 hitting out of the three and four spots, Voegele credits the defensive effort of his team for the win. Rowland Hall committed only one error in the game while Silverstein was nearly flawless from the mound, recording 16 strikeouts on the afternoon.
South Summit tried to keep it interesting early. Down 3-0 in the top of the third, senior Korey Woolstenhulme battled with Silverstein to a full count, ultimately earning the walk. Junior Mickey Nichols knocked a fast grounder past second base that sent Woolstenhulme all the way home.
Still up 3-1, Rowland Hall extended its lead in the bottom of the inning. Dischmann hit a long fly ball for a double, followed by Silverstein smashing a line drive to left field for a base hit. South Summit overthrew third base, allowing Dischmann to walk in for the run. The next batter, senior Chris Fanning, was thrown out at first, but another costly error by South Summit trying to catch Silverstein led to the second run of the inning, bringing the score to 5-1. A four-run fifth inning for the Winged Lions sealed the victory.
The loss dropped South Summit to 2-1 in Region 14, giving Rowland Hall sole possession of first at 2-0.
“We knew this would be a big game to send a message to the rest of the region,” Voegele said. “Our offense was slow to start the year, but if we keep battling and work hard in practice, good things happen.”