The West Wilkes Blackhawks capitalized on a pair of Hibriten miscues in the bottom of the fourth inning to post a 3-0 win on Thursday night in Millers Creek to advance to the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A baseball playoffs.
After Luke Huffman hit a one-out double in the fourth, Evan Johnson reached on an error to advance Huffman to third. Huffman gave West a 1-0 lead as he scored when Eli Stone reached on an error.
Johnson extended the home team’s lead when he scored on an Ethan Watson wild pitch.
Ben Huffman pushed the lead to 3-0 with an RBI sacrifice fly.
The runs proved to be enough for Riley Ledford, who earned the win. The sophomore lefty scattered three hits (two of them to Luke Absher), walked one and struck out seven in a complete-game shutout. Ledford also retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced.
Watson took the loss for No. 14 Hibriten (18-8). The junior allowed just five hits, no earned runs and struck out six. He did not walk a batter.
In addition to Luke Huffman, Cory Lackey, Braxton Church, Colton Stotler and Caleb Miles all registered a hit apiece.
Back in the third round for the first time since 2015, the Blackhawks will face No. 11 North Davidson (20-8) on Tuesday night Millers Creek. First pitch is still to be determined. The Knights advanced after upsetting No. 6 Fred T. Foard 18-5 on Thursday night.