West Stokes won its first Western Piedmont Athletic 2A conference game 6-2 against Surry Central on Friday.
The Golden Eagles defeated the Wildcats (4-7, 1-3) on March 27 and nearly did it again Friday night. The Wildcats led 3-2 heading into the seventh inning.
A monster three-run performance by West Stokes in the top of the seventh was too much for Central to overcome.
The Eagles (3-7, 1-5) have now lost five games this season by four or more runs. But despite the final score, the game was tightly contested throughout.
Both teams had two hits in the first inning. West began with singles from Tyler Little and Tyler Smith. Little was caught stealing for the first out, and then the next two batters flied out and struck out.
Casan Lawson sat at third base when Martin Palacios approached the plate. Palacios hit a grounder that led to Lawson sprinting home. Lawson was a step too slow and was called out.
The Wildcats scored first in the top of the second when Seth Saunders’s RBI single scored Matthew Woody.
Central responded in the bottom of the second inning. Troy Jessup started things off with a single. Jessup advanced on a groundout from Alex Hooker and crossed home plate off an RBI double from Ryan Martin.
The Eagles soon found themselves in a nasty situation when the Wildcats loaded the bases in the top of the third. With only one out on the scoreboard, Woody hit a grounder to second base.
The runner at second was tagged out and, although one runner had already crossed the plate, the Eagles tried to force a double play at first. An error at first led to Landon Wilkins attempting to score. Wilkins was stopped after Mason Wood connected with Hooker for the third out.
The lead stayed at 2-1 when two Eagles flied out and one grounded out in the bottom of the third.
Martin did his job on the mound by throwing three of his nine strikeouts in the top of the fourth. Hooker made it on base in the bottom of the same inning and eventually made it back home after a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2.
Martin looked to have another three-strikeout inning after sending the first two batters of the fifth inning packing. However, a triple from Jacob Mabe and RBI single from Wilkins put West ahead 3-2.
Things didn’t pick up again until the top of the seventh, when West Stokes couldn’t miss. Carter Graham took the mound when Martin approached his pitch count. At the time, only one Wildcat was on base and there were two outs.
Smith hit an RBI single as soon as Graham took the mound. Smith himself would score when the next batter, Mabe, hit an RBI triple to make it a 5-2 game. Wilkins had another RBI that scored Mabe and put West up 6-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Central’s first two batters flied out and grounded out, putting the pressure on Lawson. However, Lawson and the next batter, Daniel Layne, walked.
The game ended when Dakota Sumner grounded out at first.
The Wildcats look to make it two in a row when they host North Surry on Tuesday.