The Triad Adult Baseball League championship begins Wed., Sept. 6, and a team comprised of many Stokes County men has earned the right to compete. The Cubs, founded in 2011 as the Twins, will play the Yard Goats in a best-of-three-game series at Ted Leonard Recreational Center, 6324 Ballinger Rd, Greensboro.
Alan Brewer of Danbury, a North Stokes High School alumni, is the manager of the Cubs and also plays first base. He was with the team from its origination and is in his seventh year playing. His stepson Elijah Evans, a former Walnut Cove Little League, Stokes Stars travel ball and Forsyth Home Educators high school player, is also on the team, playing both outfield and infield as needed.
Other Cubs with local ties are former South Stokes High School players Mitchell Edwards of Pine Hall (shortstop), Jonathan Montgomery of Germanton (pitcher/outfield), Ryan Smith of Walnut Cove (pitcher/infield) and Jacob Williams of Pine Hall (outfield/first base). Tanner Lomax of King, a former West Stokes High School player, pitches and plays infield for the Cubs. Another local tie comes from William Kendrick (pitcher/outfield) who played for Carlisle High School in Virginia but recently married South Stokes High School alumni Hannah Wood of Walnut Cove.
“Although we have another half of the team that is not from Stokes County,” says Leslie Bray Brewer, Cubs scorekeeper and manager’s wife, “it is pretty cool to watch these local guys from North, South and West all play together now in such unity. My husband teases me that I am his official recruiter because whenever I see a former baseball player around the county, I immediately ask them if they’re interested in playing any more ball!”
Although starting out strong and near the top of the nine-team league in early spring, the Cubs fell to seventh place by the end of the season, primarily due to injuries to the pitching staff. Their regular season record was 10-10.
However, when the postseason playoffs started on August 27, the seventh-seed Cubs defeated the second-seed Pirates 6-4 behind an incredible pitching performance by Lomax. Lomax threw 109 pitches and went 3-for-4 at the plate. Williams went 2-for-5, with a double that started a five-run inning for the Cubs in the first. Evans managed to score a run by getting on base four of five at-bats through errors, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
In the second round of the playoffs on August 30, the Cubs took down the third-seed Athletics 4-3. Smith gutted it out on the mound, despite a late-game injury to his knee, hurling 109 pitches and striking out nine batters in eight innings.
Evans had two RBI’s in the first three innings as the Cubs went up 2-0, but the tide turned in the bottom of the fourth when the A’s scored three to take the lead. With one out in the top of the seventh, Edwards reached base by error and scored the tying run on Lomax’s triple. When the next batter flied out to center, Lomax scored the go-ahead run in a close play at the plate.
The A’s threatened again in the eighth and final inning with a one-out double. Despite suffering a knee injury while pitching to the next batter, Smith persevered to strike him out—bringing the clean-up hitter to the plate with two outs and the tying run on second. Smith struck out this batter as well to end the game, sending the Cubs to the championship.
Barring predicted rain, the Cubs will face the number-one-seeded Yard Goats on Wed., Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. at Leonard Field. The second game of the championship series will also be held at Leonard on Sun., Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. If needed, game three will be at Leonard on Wed., Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.
“No matter the outcome of this championship series, I’m super proud of all of these guys,” says Cubs Manager Brewer. “Nobody thought as a seventh-seed we would be here where we are, but that’s why you play the games.”