The West Wilkes baseball scoreboard wasn’t working Tuesday.
The Blackhawks lit it up anyway.
West, led by the arm and bat of Carson Edmiston, trounced Fred T. Foard in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs, 17-2, in five innings.
“It was a great win,” said West Coach Drew Ward. “We prepared with a great day of practice before on Monday and carried it over. Now, it’s on to round two—you can’t carry anything over.”
The 15-0 Blackhawks will host Forbush in the second round of the playoffs, Thursday at 7 p.m. in Millers Creek. The 10-5 Falcons shut out Bunker Hill, 8-0, on the road Tuesday.
Edmiston, a sophomore pitcher/shortstop, had a career day. At the plate, he went 4-for-4 with a double and two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. He finished with eight RBIs, which is believed to be a school record for a single game.
“Carson swung the bat tremendously well,” said Ward. “It’s not often you see four hits and eight RBI” from a single player in a game.
According to the N.C. High School Athletic Association, the state record for RBIs in a single game is 11, achieved three times by three different players.
On the mound, Edmiston improved to 6-0 on the season with four innings of solid work. He fired up the hosts by retiring the Tigers in order in the first, including two by strikeout.
“We knew jumping on them early would be key and Carson did a great job getting us in the dugout quickly,” noted Ward. “And then to be able to score in the bottom half was a huge lift.”
The Blackhawks took command with three runs in the bottom of the first off Foard starter Lane Essary, who took the loss.
Evan Johnson drove in the first run with a fielder’s choice, and Izaac McGuire delivered a two-out, line-drive single between second and third that scored Johnson and then Trenton Mastin after Foard left fielder Logan Mosley let the ball get past him.
The Tigers got one back with a solo homer by Braxton Tranel to right center in the second. But Edmiston responded in the bottom of the frame with a towering two-run shot to right center, also plating Braxton Church, who had just reached on an infield single. The rout was on.
“Equally important was responding with more after they scored one,” noted Ward. “We knew we had the potential to be a very deep lineup and it showed throughout.”
Edmiston got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third with a called third strike on Foard's Alex Fisher, preserving West's 5-1 lead.
Edmiston greeted Foard reliever Zac Mastin with two-out, bases-clearing jack to center, the coup de grâce of West’s five-run third.
A left-handed hitter, Edmiston leads the team in almost every batting category, including average (.581), home runs (5), RBIs (31), on-base percentage (.667) and slugging (1.140).
The Blackhawks tacked on seven more runs in the fourth. Ben Huffman drove in a pair with a bases-loaded single to left center, Edmiston plated two more with a two-out double over the right fielder's head and Johnson provided the exclamation mark with a deep two-run blast to left center.
The Tigers, runners-up in the Northwestern Foothills Conference, finished the season at 12-3.
West and Forbush haven’t played since they were both members of the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference in 2013. They’ll be league foes again this fall in a yet-to-be-named 2A conference.