After two state 1A playoff wins last week as a No. 27 seed over No. 6 Alleghany Trojans and No. 13 seeded Chatham Charter Knights, North Stokes baseball dominated their play to advance to the next level.
“We have played very well,” said Vikings coach Stephen Sauer. “Freshman Noah Smith has been key to our success this year. He has done a fantastic job and has caught every inning of every game this year. He has thrown out nearly half of all base runners and he helps our pitchers manage a game.”
On Tuesday, May 9 the Vikings played Alleghany for a third time this season and won the rubber match 8-7 in the first round of the playoffs.
After the Vikings scored one run in the top of the first, the Trojans came back in the bottom half and plated four runs on multiple errors to take an early lead.
North scored a run in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, and finished the scoring off with two in the fifth to take back a lead the Trojans has gained.
Layton Helms got the win on the mound by pitching 4-innings giving up 3-hits, 6-runs (1-earned), 4-walks, and 8-strikeouts. Jake Chesnet came on for the save by pitching 3-innings, with 1-earned run, 2-walks, and 5-strikeouts. Wayne Saunders led the team with three hits in the game.
In the second round game against Chatham Charter, both teams battled to a 1-1 tie going into the fifth inning before the Vikings exploded at the plate.
Austin Shelton walked to get the rally started and then Helms singled. Jake Craddock hit a 2-run double scoring Shelton and Helms. Chesnet then singled and Joey Bullins followed with a double making the score 5-1. Koby Clark singled bringing home Bullins for the fifth run of the inning and a 6-1 lead the Vikings would never relinquish.
Paul-Michael Charleville pitched and won the game on the mound for the Vikings. He went 6 2/3 innings with 9-hits, 3-earned runs, 2-walks, and 5-strikeouts. Chesnet scored the save for North and led the Vikings with 3-hits at the plate. Craddock supplied 2-hits and 3-RBIs in the game.
The Vikings (13-15) will play Union Academy (20-5) on Tuesday.
“We need to keep hitting the ball for us to have a chance against them,” stated Sauer. “We need to play with confidence and limit our walks and errors.”
Editor’s note: North Stokes won 10-0 in the third round at Union Academy High School on Tuesday evening. The Vikings advanced to the fourth round and will play North Stanly on Friday. Score was reported at press deadline. Visit www.thestokesnews.com for Friday’s results.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.