South Stokes welcomed Northwest 1A Conference and county rival North Stokes to Walnut Cove on Thursday night, but the game was suspended because of rain in the third inning and was restarted when the Vikings hosted South on Friday in Danbury. North slipped by South in the first game 5-4 and then the Sauras pounded out 11 hits in game two and won 8-4.
“I thought we played well in game one,” said Saura coach Shane Worth. “We were able to take advantage of some walks with a clutch hit by Shemar Dalton. In game two, we were again able to take advantage of a walk and then a missed third strike to allow Shemar to come through with another clutch hit. North came through with some clutch hits by (Joey) Bullins and (Jake) Chesnet. I thought both pitchers from each team threw well on Friday.”
The Vikings took an early advantage in game one during the second inning on two runs. Jake Craddock hit a single plating Bullins and Dustin Bowman. The Sauras responded with three runs in their half of the second on two walks, a hit batter, three passed balls and a two RBI double by Dalton giving the visitors a 3-2 lead.
In the fourth inning, South’s Keylan Coe added a walk and a RBI single by Dalton.
The Vikings tied the game in the fifth inning with two runs and then took the lead in the seventh on a single by freshman Ben Chesnet scoring Bullins.
“We really battled in the first game,” said Viking coach Stephen Sauer. “We decided to roll with Ben (Chesnet) in the relief role. He pitched an incredible four innings and then delivered the game-winning RBI. In game two, we could not get the big hit or defensive play when we needed it. South had a solid approach in the batter’s box and put the ball in play against (Layton) Helms. Overall, we didn’t make the plays when we needed it and South did.”
In game two, the contest was scoreless until the third inning. South scored five runs in the top half, while North plated three runs. Dalton reached first on an error with one out. Logan Parsons was hit by a pitch and then Ricky Gonzales singled to right field. Cody Mullins singled, Jacob Joyce reached on an error, and Logan Bray hit a single making the score 5-0. The Vikings tallied their three runs on two errors, a hit batter, and a single by freshman Christian Shemo.
Each team added a run in the fourth inning and the Sauras padded their advantage with two more runs in the sixth on a two RBI hit by Mullins.
“We were able to take advantage of some opportunities that were given to us with some timely hitting and pretty good defense,” Worth said. “We’re still shooting ourselves in the foot by giving up too many extra opportunities. Adam McMillian gave us a real quality start going five and a third innings before the pitch count got him. Landon Parsons came in and gave us a good relief appearance to seal the game.”
Bullins led the Vikings in the first game with two hits, three runs and two RBI’s, while Coe and Dalton added two hits each with Dalton contributing three RBI’s. Mullins sparked the Sauras in the second game by going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and Craddock had three hits and scored two runs for North.
The Sauras lost to Bishop McGuinness on Monday 3-2 and finished their regular season 9-13 and 3-5. North is 15-8 and 4-4 in conference play and will host Mount Airy on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference Tournament.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.