For a while on Tuesday night, Mount Airy was holding its own in a baseball slugfest against visiting North Stokes.
The Granite Bears matched their guests run for run in each of the fist two innings. The Vikings pushed across a run in the top of the first and Mount Airy matched it with one of their own. Then North Stokes scored five in the second, and again the Bears held serve, scoring five runs on a series of hard-hit balls after two were out.
Unfortunately, Mount Airy’s bats hit a dry spell for a time after that, while the Vikings kept hitting and eventually took a 19-8 victory.
North Stokes (14-9, 6-3 Northwest 1A Conference), which is closing in on a state playoff berth with just one more regular-season game to play, took control of the game with seven more runs in the top of the third inning. The Bears couldn’t respond to that outburst, and while they slowed down the Stokes bats a little after that frame and put a few more runs on the board of their own, it wasn’t enough.
The Bears tied the game in the bottom half of the first inning when Tanner Dutton smashed a line-drive double to right with one out and then Clayton Cogdill drove a double into the right-center field gap with two down. Unfortunately, the Vikings kept on hitting the ball in the second, and Mount Airy helped them by twice misplaying pop fly balls into shallow left and center field that led to more runs being scored. By the time the half-inning ended, it appeared as if the visitors had already taken command.
However, the Bears weren’t quite done.
With one on and two out, Trey Simmons hustled down the line and legged out an infield single on a weak grounder to short. Dodd followed with a hit to center field, and Simmons kept on hustling, taking third base on the hit and then not stopping when North Stokes threw to the wrong base, coming in to score. Tanner Dutton followed with a double into the left-center gap, and then Corbin Welch singled to make it 6-5. The Bears tied the game when the Vikings made a mistake similar to those the Bears had made an inning earlier, with their right fielder misjudging and then dropping a popup not far out of the infield off the bat of Chris Chanclor.
The Bears will complete their regular season with a game at East Surry on Friday night.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.