First Posted: 3/19/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN It took longer than planned, but East Surry finally put away South Stokes Thursday in Northwest 1-A Conference baseball action, defeating the visiting Sauras in eight innings, 1-0.
The Cardinals picked up strong pitching performances from starter Troy Jessup and reliever Lathan Hunter, who spelled Jessup in the eighth and final inning after Jessup went seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out nine batters with two walks.
Hunter too was nearly unstoppable in his half-inning on the mound, striking out two to seal the deal for the Cardinals.
East Surry had opportunities to score in the fifth and sixth innings, with runners on first and second base, but were unable to capitalize in both innings.
With both teams threatening to score during regulation play but unable to make the final push, the action came to a head in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Cardinals up to bat.
East Surrys Logan Needham reached on an error to start things off and was advanced into scoring position after senior Walt Tuttle was hit by a pitch.
With runners on first and second and one out, Jessup was walked to load the bases and set the stage for the Cardinals to take advantage of a golden opportunity.
But offensive heroics were not meant to be, as Easts next batter, Spence Tuttle, walked on a full count to push across the winning run for the Cardinals.
The eighth inning victory was made possible by a run saving defensive play from East Surry in the top of the seventh with South Stokes threatening to score with a runner on second and just one out.
Souths Tyler Bullard singled to right field and the Sauras third base coach sent the runner home, but Easts Jonah Easter made a game saving play, throwing the South Stokes player out at the plate and keeping the Sauras off the scoreboard in the final inning of regulation play.
East Surry coach Barry Hall said he was happy with the win and his teams pitching performance.
We struggled at the plate but our pitching and our defense was solid, Hall said. Lathan came in and struck out two and walked none so we were real happy with that, we just have to get the bats going.
With a log jam of one-loss teams atop the Northwest 1-A standings, including the 2-1 Cardinals, Hall said conference games become more and more important as the season moves along into the predominately conference based stretch of the schedule.
There is a lot of parity in the league this year so each conference game is important, Hall said. No off nights. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night this year.
East Surrys Logan Needham finished one-for-three Thursday, also scoring the game winning run, while Walt Tuttle and Lathan Hunter both were one-for-three for the Cardinals as well.
East Surry will host Elkin today, with jayvees starting at 4 p.m.
East Surry 1,
South Stokes 0
East Surry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 1
South Stokes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
WP: ES – Lathan Hunter
LP: SS – Cody Lemons
2nd: ES – Lathan Hunter; SS – Matt Oakley
Cardinal girls down Ledford, 5-0
THOMASVILLE Another start, another dominate shutout performance for East Surry pitcher Hayley Shelton, who skunked 2-A Ledford Thursday, striking out 15, walking none and paving the way for the Cardinals 5-0 win.
The Cardinals scored all five of their runs in a third inning outburst, with senior catcher Paige Honeycutt knocking in the first two runs of the rally with one of her four singles on the day. Honeycutt finished four-for-four with two RBI in the win.
East Surry coach Derrick Hill said his team was able to make contact early and often, with the fifth inning being the culmination of the Cardinals early success.
We started out the game drilling it and then in the third inning we started finding holes, Hill said. They also made some mistakes that helped us as well. They are a really good team. They are 2-A and you could tell they were good by watching them field and hit and throw the ball. I was pleased with the way we played.
Hill said the Cardinals have played Ledford over the past two or three seasons, something he thinks helps his team to improve by facing tough and unfamiliar competition.
Its a good game for us, Hill said. Theyve got good pitching and they are going to put the ball in play. They play in a tough conference so they have had to get better. I thought we beat a good team tonight.
Hill said he thought the Cardinals were aggressive at the plate and handled Thursdays rainy and windy weather well.
We are getting better every time we play and that is what we are after, Hill said. Our pitching is good and when they (Ledford) hit it tonight we fielded it and put them out and that is what we are looking for.
East Surry 5
East Surry 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 8 0
Ledford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4
WP: Hayley Shelton (ES); LP: Katie Murphy (L)
2B: L – B. Williams