HILLSBORO — Surry Central opened tournament play Thursday with a 1-0 win over Cedar Ridge, but fell to Cardinal Gibbons, 10-1 on Friday in Hilltop Invitational Tournament action.
The Golden Eagles sealed the win against Cedar Ridge in the top of the seventh inning. With Samuel Harris on third and one out, Austin Stevens struck out on a wild pitch and in the miscommunication between opposing catcher and pitcher, Harris was able to slide in for a run.
Coach Matt Scott explained that the wild pitch, which was strike three for Stevens, must have looked like a force out play and instead of the runner being tagged for an out, the defense stepped on the base. Central’s Hunter Smith pitched the complete game and fanned 11 for the win.
“Hunter did a fantastic job on keeping us in the game,” said Coach Scott. “He had a no hitter going into the fifth.” Scott admitted that Central’s offense has been unable to string together the hits to drive in runs. “We had six hits in two games so far,” said Scott. “Caleb Mitchell had four of those six hits.”
The Eagles fell to a strong Cardinal Gibbons team 10-1 on Friday. The lone run for the Golden Eagles came in the third on a passed ball which helped to score Mitchell. According to Scott, Central again found itself able to put players in scoring position only to be unable to get a hit to drive them home. Cardinal Gibbons scored one run in the first, two in the second, one run in the fifth, added four in the sixth and finished with two in the seventh.
Jake Wilmoth was the starting pitcher for Central. He was relieved in the fifth by J.C. Whitt and Samuel Harris took the mound in the sixth.
Scott said that an example of what the Eagles have been struggling with in the last two outings was Central’s first inning against Gibbons. The Eagles had the bases loaded in the first with no outs. Central’s next batter hit a ground out, then the next man up struck out and a fly ball to right field chilled any chance at a run on that at bat.
“No doubt, Gibbons has talent. There were several pro scouts there looking at their short stop and another of their players has signed with UNC Wilmington,” said Scott. “We have played well against them and we’ve got a chance. We feel like we are close to breaking out of this.”
Scott said that at some point, the Eagles are good enough hitters that they are going to show it by “getting over this hump.”
Play continues today with Central facing the winner of the Southern Alamance and Chapel Hill High game. The Golden Eagles are slated to play at West Stokes Tuesday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.