KERNERSVILLE — East Surry beat a 4A baseball team in a close 7-6 game Wednesday.
East Forsyth jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Cardinals jumped back on top and went up 7-3 before the home team nearly pulled out a win.
The Cards’ two sophomore pitchers handled the workload. Scott Meredith (6-2) gave the team four good innings, then Cody Ashburn picked up the save with three innings of relief.
Meredith gave up two earned runs, while striking out six and walking just one.
In the bottom of the first, Meredith got into a jam as East Forsyth hitters did a good job of battling with two strikes against them, according to Coach Barry Hall. And when they hit it, the ball seemed to find a lot of holes.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead and held it until the top of the third when the Cards answered.
Jeremy Gilley singled and Weston Payne doubled to put two in scoring position.
Logan Sheets hit an RBI grounder to second base to bring in Gilley. However, the fielder threw the ball away so that Payne also scored for a 2-2 tie.
The next inning, Aaron Eubanks drew a one-out walk and went to second on a single from Trevor Simmons.
One out later, Payne blooped to right to score Eubanks and Simmons went to third. Payne stole second to move into scoring position, then Logan Sheets doubled both runners home for a 5-2 lead.
The Eagles got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, but it was unearned, according to the coach.
In the top of the fifth, the Cards scored their last two runs.
Drew Wilson earned a leadoff walk. Jordan Miller grounded into a double play, but a relay error let Miller reach second safely.
Cameron Sheets singled to put runners on the corners before Eubanks hit a sacrifice fly to score Miller.
Trevor Simmons hit a grounder into the hole on the left side that the third baseman knocked down. Simmons had the play beat, but the fielder tried to make the play at first and threw the ball away, which let Sheets round third and reach home for a 7-3 lead.
Ashburn came on in the bottom of the fifth and gave up two runs. Then the Eagles got an unearned run in the sixth to make it 7-6.
That set up a wild final inning.
East Forsyth’s Blake Shipley led off with a double. Then Ashburn struck out two and looked to be in control.
The ninth-place hitter singled through the infield to put runners on the corners.
The Eagles could have tried to score then, but Hall said the outfielder closed in and would have nailed the runner at home.
Ashburn hit the leadoff batter to load the bases for Evan Rogers.
Rogers hit a sharp grounder down the third-base line past the defender. That would have scored the tying and winning runs, the coach noted, but the umpire ruled the ball was just foul. Then Rogers grounded to Eubanks at short to end the game.
Drew Wilson was 2-3 at the plate with a walk. Weston Payne was 2-4 with a single, double, two runs and an RBI. Logan Sheets was 1-4 with a double and two RBIs.
East Forsyth is a 4A school, and they are at the top of their conference along with Glenn, Hall said.
While the defense did commit three errors, the players came up big when they were needed.
Assistant coach Chad Freeman noted that this was the 650th career win for Coach Hall, which places him second all-time in NCHSAA history.
The Cards (16-7) finish their regular season at North Surry Friday.