Landon Parsons singled home Ryan Tilley with two outs in the eighth inning to give the Sauras the lead for good in the second round of the Class 1A baseball playoffs Thursday night at Mastin Field in Ronda.
No. 9 seed South Stokes will travel to No. 1 East Surry for a third-round game Tuesday.
Tied 2-2, Tilley singled with one out in the eighth against Cardinals righthander Tate Samples, who relieved starter James Burcham to start the fifth.
Connor Young drew a walk, and the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch.
Jesse Carrick popped out to second baseman Weston Johnson for the second out, and No. 9 hitter Matthew Montgomery struck out on three pitches, but reached base when the third strike pitch was in the dirt and got away from catcher Caeden Howell.
That brought up Parsons, the leadoff hitter, who hit a line drive up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to give South Stokes its third lead of the game.
East Wilkes got the winning run into scoring position in the bottom of the inning against Sauras righthander Ricky Gonzalez, who relieved starter Adam McMillian in the seventh.
Ben Longbottom, who had two of the Cardinals’ four hits, singled to start the inning and went to second on a wild pitch. Howell flied out to deep left field, and Burcham grounded out.
But Austen Absher drew a walk, and Samples beat out an infield roller to load the bases.
Johnson worked the count to 2-2, but hit a comebacker to Gonzalez to end the game.
It was the third meeting this season between the Cardinals and Sauras. Gonzalez was the winning pitcher in all three meetings.
Gonzalez drove in Parsons with the game’s first run in the first with a fly ball on what became a double play when Shemar Dalton was thrown out trying to advance to third.
The Cardinals tied it when Sean Sidden drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
Gonzalez reached base on a two-out error in the third and scored on a second error two batters later to give South Stokes a 2-1 lead.
East Wilkes tied the game 2-2 on what was almost a triple play. Samples walked, Johnson reached on an error and Noah Parks walked to load the bases with no outs in the fifth. Trenton Rhodes hit a liner to Gonzalez, who started the game at shortstop. Gonzalez stepped on second base, but threw wildly past first, allowing Samples’ courtesy runner Trey Lambert to score.
The Cardinals got both their runs before they got their first hit. McMillian took a no-hitter into the sixth before Longbottom broke it up with his double to left field.
The Cardinals had a chance to take the lead in both the sixth and seventh. McMillian struck out Absher and Samples with runners at second and third in the sixth, and Gonzalez struck out Sidden with a runner at third in the seventh.
(Look for a full story, complete with statistics and coaches’ quotes, in the next issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.)