Vikings off to best start in school history

By Robert Money - rmoney@thestokesnews.com
Senior Layton Helms pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts for the Vikings against Patrick County on Friday. - Dale Sands | For The Stokes News
Vikings Dustin Bowman laid down a suicide bunt to score the games first run against Patrick County. - Dale Sands | For The Stokes News
Coach Stephen Sauer has led the Vikings to a 13-3 overall record and the best start in North Stokes history. - Dale Sands | For The Stokes News
North Stokes Noah Smith singled and had two walks against Patrick County. - - Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

North Stokes baseball team has continued their hot streak and the best start in school history with a 3-1 win over rival Patrick County on Friday night in Danbury. Senior Winston-Salem State signee Layton Helms surrendered one hit and allowed only one unearned run during the game.

“Layton is pitching incredibly well,” said Viking coach Stephen Sauer. “He continues to get stronger with every outing. We are starting to play our best baseball at a very important time. We just need to keep moving forward, there is a lot of work yet to be done.”

North Stokes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a double by Isaiah East and then a suicide squeeze by sophomore Dustin Bowman bringing home the first run of the game.

The Cougars only hit came in the top of the fifth inning on a leadoff single by Evan Hopkins. He stole second and then came around and scored on an infield error by the home team knotting the game at one.

The Vikings responded at bat with two runs pushing the advantage to 3-1. Freshman Ben Chesnet and Jake Craddock reached base and then Helms had a two-run single to plate the both runners.

Helms was untouchable in the last two innings sitting down six straight batters to close out the game.

“These guys get me out of bed most mornings,” Sauer said. “It’s a joy to coach these kids every day. They keep me on my toes and I truly believe each and every one of us love being involved in what we are doing day in and day out. “

Bowman was 1-for-2 with a run scored, a double, and the game’s first RBI for the Vikings. Helms was 1-for-3 with two RBI’s and pitched seven innings with 10 strikeouts, three walks, one hit and one unearned run.

The Vikings improve to 13-3 with a 4-1 victory over Salem Baptist Christian School on Monday. The team will travel to Mount Airy on Tuesday and host the Bears on Friday in two Northwest 1A Conference games.

Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.

Senior Layton Helms pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts for the Vikings against Patrick County on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_NS-Baseball-Layton-Helms-DS.jpgSenior Layton Helms pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts for the Vikings against Patrick County on Friday. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Vikings Dustin Bowman laid down a suicide bunt to score the games first run against Patrick County.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_NS-Baseball-Dustin-Bowman-DS.jpgVikings Dustin Bowman laid down a suicide bunt to score the games first run against Patrick County. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Coach Stephen Sauer has led the Vikings to a 13-3 overall record and the best start in North Stokes history.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_NS-Baseball-Coach-Stephen-Sauer-DS.jpgCoach Stephen Sauer has led the Vikings to a 13-3 overall record and the best start in North Stokes history. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

North Stokes Noah Smith singled and had two walks against Patrick County.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_NS-Baseball-Noah-Smith-DS.jpgNorth Stokes Noah Smith singled and had two walks against Patrick County. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

By Robert Money

rmoney@thestokesnews.com