With dominant pitching by Jacob Craver and strong hitting by Jacob Washer and Ricky Kirchenbauer, the West Stokes Wildcats sailed to a 7-0 victory over West Davidson in the first round of the playoffs.
Craver pitched all seven innings for the Wildcats Friday night at home, getting 10 strikeouts and only allowing three hits.
“We came out focused,” said Wildcats coach Kirk Goodson. “Jacob controlled the game early. He commanded the strike zone with all three pitches … That set the tone.”
In the leadoff spot, Washer started the game off with a home run against West Davidson’s pitcher Justin Freeman.
In the second inning, David Hughart was hit by a pitch, then Corbin Easter got a single past the second baseman. With two on base, Ricky Kirchenbauer — batting in the ninth spot — hit a home run to bring the score to 4-0.
At his next at-bat in the bottom of the fourth, Kirchenbauer slugged another homer. With Hughart already on base from a single, this brought the score to 6-0. Not to be outdone, Washer stepped up to the plate next and hit his second home run to push the lead to 7-0.
Of the No. 1 and 9 batters in the lineup getting two home runs apiece, Goodson said, “That was big.”
He noted that his team has speed at the end of the lineup and Kirchenbauer has demonstrated strong hitting in the past few games.
In the top of the sixth, the Dragons got two on base but couldn’t capitalize. Craver got another strikeout for the third out.
“Jacob just pitched a heck of a game tonight,” Goodson remarked.
The Wildcats will play again at home on Tuesday.
South Stokes triumphed over Chatham Central with a run at the bottom of the 10th inning in the first round of state baseball playoffs at South Stokes High School on Friday night. The final score was 3-2.
The team will face off against North Rowan in a home game for the second round of state playoffs on Tuesday night.