The Cubs, an adult baseball team with several Stokes County men on the roster, were runners-up in the Triad Adult Baseball League championship series last week. Seeded seventh out of nine, the Cubs had to face a hard-hitting first-seed team, the Yard Goats, in a best-of-three series. After winning the first game 10-6, the Cubs dropped the next two games to the Goats.
In game one of a doubleheader at Bishop McGuinness High School on Sun., Sept. 10, the Cubs jumped out to a quick four-run lead in the top of the first inning. Tanner Lomax of King and Jonathan Montgomery of Germanton contributed singles to that effort, while Jacob Williams of Pine Hall doubled to drive in two of the four runs.
The Yard Goats came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first, then tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.
But the Cubs were not to be denied. They scored four more runs in the top of the sixth. Player/Manager Alan Brewer of Danbury got on base with a one-out walk, then later scored on a single by Mitchell Edwards of Pine Hall. A few batters later, Williams singled to add more RBI’s to his total.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Yard Goats scored two more runs to make it an 8-6 game, but the Cubs still weren’t done. In the top of the seventh, Elijah Evans of Walnut Cove led off with a single, followed by a single from Montgomery. With two outs, William Kendrick (married to the former Hannah Wood of Walnut Cove) doubled to bring both baserunners home.
Cubs’ pitcher Edwards, who had come in to relieve starting pitcher Lomax in the bottom of the sixth, managed to hold the Yard Goats scoreless through the bottom of the eighth, giving the Cubs a 10-6 victory.
At the plate, the Cubs racked up 15 hits. Evans went 3-for-4, Williams 3-for-5 and Montgomery 2-for-4. Brewer added a double to the hit parade, and Kendrick, in a designated hitter role only due to a broken foot, was 2-for-4.
In game two that afternoon, the Cubs lost a heartbreaker 3-4. The game remained scoreless for the first two and a half innings, but finally the Cubs drew first blood in the bottom of the third. Brewer led off with a single, followed by a single by Kendrick. After the next batter grounded into a double play at first and third, Edwards doubled to bring pinch-runner Montgomery home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
After a few more scoreless innings, the Cubs came alive again in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Lomax smashed a triple to right center field and scored on a single by Grayson Tong. Williams then singled to center to score Tong, putting the Cubs up 3-0.
The Yard Goats were down to their last three outs when they came up in the top of the eighth, but suddenly their bats were hot. A leadoff double followed by two singles ended Cubs’ pitcher Montgomery’s bid for a shutout. With no outs, the next batter hit a three-run homer to left center, putting the Yard Goats on top by one. Edwards, in relief, retired the next three batters.
Needing only one run to tie and two to win the championship series, the Cubs’ first two batters grounded out. Williams then singled, followed by another single from Kevin James, but the Cubs were not able to capitalize on the hits—losing 3-4.
On the mound, Montgomery tallied nine strikeouts, and the combination of Edwards at short to Lomax at second to Brewer at first turned two double plays. At the plate, Williams was 2-for-3—Lomax, 2-for-4.
With the series tied at one game apiece, the Cubs and Yard Goats met for the deciding contest on Wed., Sept. 13, at Leonard Field in Greensboro. The Goats proved that they were indeed the top team in the league by winning the championship game 10-1.
The Cubs’ solo run came in the top of the fifth when Gary Tong led off the inning with a single. Montgomery came in to pinch run for Tong, stole second then took third on a throwing error by the catcher. Up next was Brewer who singled to right center to bring Montgomery home to break up the Yard Goats’ shutout.
Despite four errors in the field, the Cubs turned three double plays and got eight hits. Evans went 2-for-3 with a double and a single, while Brewer and Lomax each went 1-for-3.
Ryan Smith of Walnut Cove, who had helped the Cubs reach the championship series with solid pitching performances in the playoffs, was unable to play due to a knee injury.
“We had a pretty good run of it in the playoffs,” Brewer said. “To get to the championship, we beat great second- and third-seed teams that had both just spanked us pretty bad the week before. And we played the championship series with two of our starting pitchers injured and unable to throw. With everyone coming back and staying healthy, next year could be our best year yet.”