North Stokes Joey Bullins and freshman Christian Shemo combined for five innings of no-hit baseball against Martinsville, Va. and won 16-0 at BB&T Ball Park in Winston Salem on Saturday. The Vikings played Patrick County in the championship game of the North Stokes Invitational and beat them 4-3 in 10 innings. The Cougars advanced to the championship contest with a 13-10 victory over East Wilkes.
“It was a great day for baseball,” said Viking coach Stephen Sauer. “Coach Chris York put a ton of time in making this a very successful event. Our kids are just having fun right now. We are battling and playing hard-nosed baseball right now. I feel the kids are having a great time and can’t wait to get to practice each day.”
Bullins shut the Bulldogs down with three strikeouts in the first inning after allowing an opening walk to start the game. In the bottom half of the first inning, the Vikings plated 10 runs against the visitors. Noah Smith reached base by a walk and Layton Helms was hit by a pitch. Jake Craddock reached first with an infield hit, loading the bases. Isaiah East forced in the first run with a walk and then Colby Clark smacked a single scoring Helms and Craddock. After an error and two more walks, Smith reached on a hit to left field for two RBIs. Craddock tripled and then East doubled knocking in the ninth and 10th runs.
Bullins set the Cougars down in order in the top of the second with two more strikeouts. In the Vikings half of the inning, they scored four more runs on two errors, two walks, and a base hit from Helms and East.
North Stokes didn’t score in the third inning, but Bullins continued his dominance on the mound with two more strikeouts.
Shemo closed out the fourth and fifth innings with no hits and five strikeouts, while facing seven Bulldogs.
East and Craddock added two hits each for the Vikings. East tallied two RBIs, a walk, a run, and two doubles. Craddock hit a triple and scored two runs with two RBIs. Bullins got the win on the mound with seven strikeouts and one walk and Shemo recorded five strikeouts and one walk in two innings pitched.
In the championship game, Patrick County went ahead of the Vikings 3-1 after five innings. North Stokes loaded the bases in the sixth stanza, but only pushed one run across and still trailed by one.
The Vikings tied the game in the seventh inning when freshman Ben Chesnet led off with a double. He reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Dustin Bowman and then scored on an infield hit by Craddock forcing extra innings.
Helms was hit by a pitch to begin the top of the 10th. He stole second and third base and then scored on a wild pitch to put the visitors up one run. Helms set the Cougars down in the order in the bottom half of the home inning for the win.
Chesnet paced North with two doubles and Helms had two hits and stole three bases. Helms and Craddock struck out 17 batters in the game.
“It was a heck of a night,” Sauer said. “We did the small things to win. Dustin (Bowman) laid down a bunt to allow us to tie the game in the seventh and then our defense came through with excellent play. We are real proud of our kids and the way they kept battling back.”
The Vikings improve to 6-2 on the season and will face Northwest 1AConference opponent Bishop McGuinness in Danbury on Tuesday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.