The bat of A.J. Roten and arm of Carson Edmiston led the West Wilkes varsity baseball team to an 11-0 drubbing of Wilkes Central in Moravian Falls on Monday.
Roten had a pair of two-run doubles in the first and fourth innings, when West did all its damage in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference matchup, and Edmiston tossed a one-hit shutout on the mound.
“It was another good team win,” said West Coach Drew Ward. “It was important for us to jump out on them early, and we did just that. A.J. and Ben (Huffman) both had big nights at the plate and several others came through as well.”
The MVAC-leading Blackhawks (8-0) torched Central starter Jonah Brooks for seven runs in the first. Braxton Church led off with a double, and courtesy runner Hudson Severt scored the game’s first run on Riley Ledford’s single to center.
Following Trenton Mastin’s single to left, Evan Johnson singled to right, plating Ledford. Then Roten doubled to right, scoring courtesy runner Avery Aiken and Johnson for a 4-0 West lead.
Collin McGuire then grounded out to second, scoring Roten. McGuire advanced to third on Ben Huffman’s single, and both runners scored after Central left fielder Jacob Demeny couldn’t handle Church’s fly ball.
West added four more runs in the fourth. Aiken led off by reaching on an infield error, and after Johnson walked, Roten stroked a double to center, plating both runners.
Roten later scored on a wild pitch. Edmiston grounded out to second, plating McGuire, who had reached on a single, to finish the scoring.
Central’s Zach Mastin broke up Edmiston’s no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the fifth. Mastin was later picked off at third by catcher Church to end the game.
Edmiston also hit a batter but issued no walks and struck out seven in five innings to improve to 3-0.
“Edmiston threw the ball exceptionally well,” noted Ward. “He threw strikes, got ahead early, and finished off a lot of hitters. Our defense played well behind him and both fed into our offense.”
It was the Blackhawks’ sixth-straight victory over the Eagles (2-5). Five of those wins have been shutouts.
North holds off Central
North Wilkes’ bats were lively early Friday at Wilkes Central, then Anthony Welborn sealed the deal on the mound as the Vikings took a 7-5 victory in Moravian Falls.
“We were happy to get away with a win,” said North Coach Dwayne Berrier. “We didn’t play our best and made some mistakes at crucial times, but we didn’t give up, made some adjustments, and held on. Several guys made some clutch hits throughout the game.”
The Vikings jumped on the hosts with three runs in the first. Dalton Miller led off with a single to left and scored on Trent Sidden’s triple to right center. After Jesse Farrington drew a walk and stole second, Caleb Souther singled in two runs on a sharp liner up the middle that Eagle starter Weston Inscore couldn’t get a glove on.
North struck for two more in the second, as Drew Winkler led off with a line-drive single to right. Two outs later, Farrington hit a first-pitch triple to the fence in right center, plating Winkler and Sidden, who had just reached on a free pass.
The Eagles clawed back, though, and made it a 6-5 game after a two-out infield error in the fourth allowed Drew Call and Brody Johnson, who had both reached on walks, to score. Welborn got out of a bases-loaded jam by catching Zach Mastin looking to end the inning.
Welborn, in 31/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowed two hits while walking two and striking out two. He saved the win earned by Farrington (2-3), who gave up three hits and three earned run while walking five and whiffing four.
“Anthony did a great job coming in and closing it off for us,” added Berrier.
Inscore took the loss for the Eagles, allowing seven hits and five earned runs in four innings. Mastin worked the final three frames, giving up three hits and a single unearned run.
Back-to-back two-out doubles by Jonah Brooks and Mastin in the Central third made it a 5-3 game. The Eagles first got on the board with a run in the second, as Mastin walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles turned a rare triple play in the fifth. With runners on first and second, pitcher Mastin fielded a bunt and threw to second baseman Bryce Smithey, who tagged a runner and stepped on second before throwing to first.
After the season sweep of the Eagles—wins that snapped a four-game losing skid to Central—the Vikings evened their MVAC mark at 4-4. The Eagles backtracked to 2-4.
Ledford no-nos East
West Wilkes’ Riley Ledford threw a no-hitter Friday as the Blackhawks turned back East Wilkes in Millers Creek in six innings, 10-0.
“We really did play a good all-around game against a good East Wilkes team,” said Drew Ward, West’s coach. “We hit it well, even though we left some runners on base early, and fielded it well behind Riley. It was a great win.”
Ledford, a senior southpaw, struck out 12 batters and improved to 4-0 on the season. He walked a batter, hit another one and allowed one to reach via his error on a comebacker. He also threw 51 of 75 pitches for strikes and delivered first-strike pitches to 13 of 21 batters.
“I was really excited for him to get a no-hitter,” added Ward. “He has had several career one-hitters, with a couple of them broken up in the last inning, so it was big for him to reach that accomplishment.”
The league-leading Blackhawks (7-0) ended the game with five runs in the sixth. Braxton Church led off with a line-drive double to right, and courtesy runner Hudson Severt scored on Carson Edmiston’s triple to right, which chased East reliever Bryson Shore in favor of Brennan Arnder.
Arnder walked Ledford, then Trenton Mastin singled to left, making it 7-0. Another free pass to Evan Johnson loaded the bases.
After a strikeout, Collin McGuire drew a walk, plating Ledford. Then Izaac McGuire singled to center, scoring courtesy runner Jake Lundsford. Johnson’s steal of home ended the game.
Ben Huffman doubled in two runs in the fourth. Edmiston’s single in the first, Collin McGuire’s sacrifice fly in the second and A.J. Roten’s single in the fifth plated the hosts’ other runs.
Tate Samples worked four innings and took the loss for the Cardinals, who slipped to 2-6.
It was West’s sixth-straight win over East. Four of those wins have been shutouts.
North clips East
North Wilkes rallied in the sixth to topple East Wilkes, 7-4, in Ronda on May 18.
“It was a complete team effort in this one,” said North’s coach, Dwayne Berrier. “When East took the lead, our guys stepped up to the challenge instead of rolling over. That’s a huge step for us.”
In the pivotal sixth, North’s Anthony Welborn led off by reaching on an error, took second on a wild pitch and then third on Drew Winkler’s sacrifice bunt.
Pinch runner Reece Wilson then scored on Gracen Cline’s line-drive single to center. Cline later scored on Dalton Miller’s line-drive double to left, which spotted North a 5-4 lead.
Miller later scored on a passed ball and Trent Sidden, who reached on an infield error, scored on another Cardinal miscue to conclude the scoring.
The mound winner was Miller (2-1), who allowed seven hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out 10. Welborn earned the save after the final two East batters went down swinging with a runner on first.
“Miller did a great job on the mound for us and Welborn was clutch there at the end,” noted Berrier.
The Cardinals erased a three-run deficit with three of their own in the third. Bryson Sidden singled with one out, took second on Briggs Gentry’s single and scored on Trenton Rhoades’ sharp groundball single to center.
Tate Samples, who was 4-for-4, then singled to right, plating Gentry. Rhoades then scored on an infield error, tying it at 3-all.
“I was proud of the way we got on top early on and never quit trying to put more on the board,” said Berrier. “East is a scrappy team and well coached so we knew they’d make a run at some point.”
Miller’s sacrifice fly in the first and a run-scoring double by Seth Hall and RBI single by Welborn in the second spotted the visitors an early 3-0 lead.
The Vikings bettered to 3-4 while the Cardinals fell to 2-5.
West thumps Ashe
West Wilkes exploded for eight runs in the fifth to end its May 18 game with Ashe County early in Millers Creek, 14-4.
“The scoreboard reflected a very well-played game on our part, but we made some mistakes that we will have to fix,” said Blackhawk Coach Drew Ward. “We will definitely take the win but still have work to do.”
In the fifth, nursing a 6-4 lead after Canyon Pennington’s three-run homer in the top of the frame, junior A.J. Roten delivered a line-drive, three-run double to left, plating Carson Edmiston, Trenton Mastin and Evan Johnson. Roten was 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
The hosts (6-0) then enacted the 10-run mercy rule after Riley Ledford’s single through the infield scored Ben Huffman and Hudson Severt.
West opened up a tight 2-1 game with four runs in the fourth. Braxton Church led off with a double, and courtesy runner Severt moved to third on Edmiston’s single and scored after Ledford’s pop fly to third was mishandled.
With two outs, Johnson doubled to left, plating Ledford. Roten and Collin McGuire then delivered back-to-back, run-scoring single liners to left.
“We did some great things on the bases and also had some of our worst baserunning mistakes in the same game,” noted Ward. “Defensively, we played well and had a lot of competitive at-bats.”
Mastin erased a 1-0 deficit with a line-drive single to center in the first, scoring courtesy runner Jake Lundsford and Ledford, who had just doubled.
Edmiston (2-0) earned the win on the mound. In five innings the sophomore allowed five hits and five earned runs while walking two and striking out nine. He was also 4-for-4 at the plate.
“Carson threw well on the mound and kept them down long enough for us to get our bats going later,” added Ward.
Pennington took the loss for the Huskies, who dropped to 3-4.
Central tops Elkin
Wilkes Central posted a 7-1 win over Elkin in Moravian Falls on May 18.
The Eagles erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the fourth. After adding a run in the fifth, they tacked on three more in the sixth to complete the scoring.
Jonah Brooks earned his first win of the season for the Eagles. The senior worked 6 2/3 innings, allowed four hits and a single earned run while walking three and striking out 11.
Brooks also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double. Bryce Smithey, also a senior, drove in a game-high two runs for the Eagles.
Beau Callahan worked four innings and took the loss for Elkin. Blain Adams drove in the visitors’ lone run in the first.
The Eagles improved to 2-3 while the Buckin’ Elks slipped to 4-3.