West Stokes Tyler Smith hit a homerun and tallied three RBI’s and teammate Phillip Pollard pitched in relief to secure a 15-5 come-from-behind victory over county rival South Stokes on Saturday.
“I thought the key to the game was when Phillip (Pollard) came in with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning and held South to one run on a sacrifice fly,” said Wildcat coach Andrew O’Neal. “We were able to answer back with five runs. Earlier in the year we let games open up in those situations and did not respond at the plate. I think the guys are really growing up and handling tough spots in our games much better.”
The Wildcats took an early lead in the bottom of the first when Smith blasted a homerun for the 1-0 advantage. South’s starting pitcher, Logan Bray, ended the inning with a strikeout over Matthew Woody with the bases loaded.
Sauras Keylan Coe began the top of the second inning with a walk and moved to third on two wild pitches by Seth Saunders. Junior Adam McMillian walked and stole second with one out. Austin Lilly stepped to the plate and singled bringing home Coe. Jacob Joyce walked loading the bases for sophomore Shemar Dalton. Dalton sent a double to center field plating McMillian and Lilly and then Landon Parsons hit a sacrifice fly off of Pollard scoring Joyce for the 4-1 lead.
West responded with five runs at the plate. Ryan Pegram singled and then Saunders doubled putting runners at second and third with no outs. Leadoff hitter, Tyler Little doubled to left field scoring Pegram and Saunders. Little moved to third on a passed ball and then tied the game at four on a ground ball hit by Smith. Jacob Moore walked, stole second, and touched home on a two run homerun by senior Jordan Smith. The Wildcats threatened more runs when they loaded the bases, but Dalton got Saunders to ground out to end the inning with the Wildcats back on top at 6-4.
The visitors closed the gap to one run in the third stanza when junior Cody Mullins hit a solo homerun to begin the inning. The Cats extended their run with three more in the bottom of the third. Little, Smith and Landon Wilkins all touched home plate on three Saura errors.
West Stokes added one run in the fourth and five more in the fifth, ending the game on the mercy rule.
“I thought West hit the ball extremely well, and their pitcher threw strikes and didn’t give up a lot of free bases,” said Saura coach Shane Worth. “Defensively we played pretty good, but we gave them some extra opportunities that they took advantage of. I felt like we hit the ball well, they just made some good defensive plays to halt some of our scoring opportunities.”
The Wildcats’ Tyler Smith went 3-for-4 with a homerun, a triple, a stolen base, a walk, three runs scored and three RBI’s. Tyler Little added two hits, a double, a stolen base, a walk, three runs, and three RBI’s and Jordan Smith walked twice, hit a homerun, and tallied two RBI’s. McMillian was 2-for-2 for the Sauras with a run and stolen base. Dalton added a double, a walk, stolen base, and two RBI’s, while Mullins scored a homerun and a RBI. The left-handed Pollard secured the win on the mound with Bray taking the loss.
West Stokes improves to 8-9 overall and the Sauras dropped to 7-9. The Wildcats will travel to 4A Mount Tabor on Tuesday, while the Sauras visit Surry Central on Wednesday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.