The Wilkes County National all-stars run in the coach pitch state tournament didn’t start off the way it would have liked.
But Wilkes National fought hard and earned a fifth-place finish in the North Carolina Tar Heel League state tournament, which concluded last Sunday in Smithfield.
Wilkes National went 3-2 in the state tournament, losing only to third-place Garner twice.
Below are recaps from each day of tournament action involving Wilkes County National:
Wilkes National saw its run in the state tournament come to an end with a 9-1 loss to Garner.
Wilkes National trailed 9-0 going into the bottom of the fourth but finally got on the scoreboard that inning when Calvin Shores scored on a Carsen Snider base hit.
Brinn Walker, Brylee Shore and Hayden Sampson paced Wilkes National at the plate with two hits apiece.
But earlier on Saturday, National stayed alive in the loser’s bracket with its third-straight elimination win in an 8-2 victory over Washington, which was highlighted by a three-run fourth inning.
Wilkes had strong performances at the plate as eight players had two or more hits — led by three hits from Foster McClary.
Walker, Shores, Snider, Brayden Nichols, Levi Rhoades, Braxton Brown and Calloway Greene all reached base twice in the winning effort.
Wilkes National’s road through the loser’s bracket began Friday morning as it stayed alive with a 6-3 win over Sandhills.
Trailing 3-1 after three innings, Wilkes tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth from Nichols and Snider.
Wilkes National tacked on three more in the top of the fifth by runs scored from Walker, Shore and Rhoades. Walker and McClary finished with three hits apiece.
Greene, Masen Hendren and Rhoades contributed two hits apiece.
Wilkes’ road through the loser’s bracket saw it face off with a former opponent in District 2 representative Yancey County.
After squeaking past them in the District 2 tournament (6-4) earlier in July, Wilkes National found itself trailing 4-1 after an inning and 4-2 after two innings.
But its bats came to life over the next three innings.
First, Wilkes National scored three runs in the third to take a 5-4 lead and then added four more in the fourth.
Wilkes then tacked on three more insurance runs in the fifth to advance with a 12-4 victory.
Walker, Greene, McClary and Dominick Portante had three hits apiece while Shores and Hendren finished with two hits apiece.
Garner sent Wilkes National into the loser’s bracket with a 10-4 win in the state tournament opener on Thursday evening.
Wilkes National quickly found itself trailing 6-0 after an inning and a half but responded with three runs in the bottom of the second.
An RBI base hit from Snider plated Nichols in the bottom of the third but Wilkes National still trailed 7-4.
Garner put the game away in the top of the fourth with three more runs.
McClary led National at the plate with two hits while eight other players had one hit apiece.