East Surry will have to play a third game with Whiteville in the hopes of securing the school’s first 1A state baseball championship.
In the morning game, the Whiteville bats got hot, putting up 11 hits in just the first three innings.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Whiteville ended the game early on the mercy rule for a 10-0 win.
Not only did the loss break a 31-game winning streak for the Cards, it was the first time that a team has invoked the slaughter rule on East Surry since a 11-1 loss to West Stokes more than three years ago — which was before this crop of players had reached the varsity team.
Whiteville showed signs of their offense on Friday, earning three runs off Tyler Marion, the most he’s given up in any game this season.
Against Scott Meredith, the Wolfpack put at least two aboard in each of the first three innings.
East Surry was the home team on Friday, but Whiteville was home for Game Two.
East started off with Logan Sheets singling to center. Weston Payne advanced him with a ground out.
Marion flew out to shallow center, and Alec Wilson struck out to end the threat.
In the bottom half, two grounders resulted in back-to-back errors, putting runners on first and second with one out.
Cody Ashburn caught a bouncer and stepped on third for a force out. Then Ashburn caught a pop-up to end the threat.
A third error started off the bottom of the second. Then a single to center again put two on.
Meredith drew a grounder to short, and Sheets caught the ball, stepped on second and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
In the top of the third, Sheets hammered a long fly to right. It might have been a homer in Pilot Mountain, but the distant fences at Five County Stadium kept the ball in.
Sheets rounded second without hesitation, but was gunned down at third easily.
In the bottom of the third, Whiteville’s Connor Grainger singled to left. Hunter Cartrette singled to center. Zach Pait doubled to left to score Grainger for a 1-0 lead.
Hunter Harwood singled to left-center to score Cartrette. As Pait was coming in to score, the throw was a few feet up the third-base line, and catcher Madison Chilton was knocked down by the runner.
East Surry retrieved the ball as the Whiteville coaches yelled at Pait to step on the plate.
Seth Brim applied the tag, but the umpire still ruled Pait safe, making it 3-0. Meanwhile, Harwood had moved to second and would score on a single by Nick Hood.
MacKenzie Gore singled to right. Gore, a lefty, continued Whiteville’s strong tendency to be out front and pull the ball.
With two aboard, Grayson Ward doubled to right-center to score another run and make it 5-0.
Turner Brown singled to right to score Gore to make it 6-0, then Geraldo Maggioli concluded the scoring by blooping a single to right to score Ward.
Through three innings, the Wolfpack had 11 hits and reached three times off Cardinal errors.
When East failed to score in the fourth or the top of the fifth, head coach Barry Hall went to reliever Cody Ashburn in the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Ashburn walked a batter. Then Maggioli singled.
Grainger hit a long fly to left-center, just out of reach of a diving outfielder for a double to score a run.
Cartrette hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0. Then Pait singled to center to plate the final run.
The deciding game will be played at 5 p.m. today.