The Stokes County Junior Legion team outlasted the Foothills Juniors 5-4 on June 6.
Foothills Post 123 led by three runs through three innings of play, then only put up one hit through the next four innings.
Stokes, meanwhile, had hits in 5-of-7 innings, including four across the fourth in fifth innings to help Post 290 score four runs. These runs paired with a first-inning score lifted Stokes to the 5-4 victory.
Post 123 trailed entering the bottom of the seventh after Kahle Lickfield (West Stokes) struck out all three Foothills batters in the bottom of the sixth. Despite the onslaught of strikeouts, Foothills still had a chance to win as it loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh.
Lickfield alternated strikeout, walk, strikeout then walk to start the seventh. Dylan Rhodes and Davin Weatherford, both of North Wilkes, were walked to start the inning, then Phillip Byrd (East Surry) joined his teammates on base after another ball four.
Sid Sutphin (East Surry) put the ball into play with bases loaded, but Stokes’ Dru Hall (West Stokes) knocked the hit down at second base and made the force out at first to end the game.
Strong pitching helped Stokes maintain its advantage in Tuesday’s division game. Spencer Boles, Carter Spainhour and Lickfield – all from West Stokes High School – combined for 14 strikeouts in the victory. Post 290 struck out seven of the final 11 Foothills batters.
Boles started on the bump and threw 3.0 innings, during which time he struck out five batters, walked two, and allowed four runs on four hits.
Spainhour took over in the fourth inning. Carter struck out four batters, walked one, hit one by pitch and allowed one run. Lickfield pitched the final 2.0 innings and finished with five strikeouts and three walks.
Landon Gallimore (Mount Airy) started on the mound for Foothills Post 123. Gallimore struck out six batters, walked three, and allowed five runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings pitched.
Byrd threw the final 2.0 innings, striking out three batters and allowing one hit.
Stokes started the night strong with two of its first three batters hitting singles. Lickfield hit a grounder to left field with one out on the board, then moved to second on a pickoff error. Boles brought Lickfield home with a line drive to center field.
Gallimore regrouped after the run and struck out back-to-back batters. Five of the pitcher’s six total strikeouts were thrown in the span of eight batters across the first, second and third innings.
Foothills didn’t put a runner on base until the bottom of the third, but made it count when the time came. Byrd and Cayden McRoberts (North Surry) were walked, then bases were loaded when Nick Burnette reached first on an error. Bob Goins (North Surry) brought the tying run in with a sacrifice fly to right field.
McRoberts and Burnette both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Stokes picked up the inning’s second out. Gallimore scored both runners with a 2RBI double, then Gallimore himself scored on a single hit by Rhodes.
Singles from Macean Alvear (North Surry) and Weatherford loaded the bases once again, but all three runners were left on after a strikeout thrown by Spainhour.
Stokes, now trailing 4-1, chipped away at the Foothills lead over the next two innings.
Sam Reeves (West Stokes) doubled to start the fourth inning, then Mikah Webster (West Stokes) reached first on an error. Gus Santoro (West Stokes) hit an RBI single to score Reeves.
Bases were loaded after Grady Hall (Reagan) was walked, then Caiden Mendenhall (West Stokes) hit a single to score Webster and make it 4-3.
Another hot start to an inning gave Stokes the lead in the fifth. Leadoff Eli Edwards (West Stokes) made it to second after a fly ball to center field was dropped, then Reeves was walked and Webster singled.
A ground out hit by Santoro brought in Stokes’ fourth run, then a sacrifice bunt from Hall gave Stokes the lead.
Gallimore led off with a single in the bottom half of the inning as Foothills looked to get back on top. Rhodes was walked, then Weatherford was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out on the board.
Spainhour kept Post 290’s lead alive by striking out the next two Post 123 batters.
Foothills left three runners on base in three separate innings: the third, fifth and seventh. Post 123 left a total of 10 runners on in the game, while Post 290 left eight on.
Stokes Post 290 – 1, 0, 0, 2, 2, 0, 0 = 5
Foothills Post 123 – 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 4