PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry won its 11th-straight game on Friday by defeating North Stokes 8-3.
The win is also the Cardinals’ 11-straight victory over North Stokes. East’s current streak against the Vikings dates back to the 2017 season.
The streak against North Stokes is the fourth-longest active win streak for East Surry since 2008. In that time, East has won its past 19 meetings against Mount Airy, its past 16 meetings against Elkin and its past 13 meetings against Starmount.
Sophomore pitcher Folger Boaz got the win on the mound with 5.2 innings pitched. Boaz threw 14 strikeouts and allowed just two hits. Benji Gosnell finished the game by throwing the final 1.1 innings.
Senior Carson Willoughby recorded a game-high three hits on four at-bats, including 3 RBIs. Willoughby also scored one run in the win.
Luke Bowman, Luke Brown, Anthony Ayers, Trey Armstrong, Boaz and Gosnell each had one hit. Ayers and Gosnell each scored twice, and Willoughby, Brown, Armstrong and Caden Lasley each scored once.
East Surry scored in all but one inning. After amassing a 2-0 lead, the Cards put two runners on base in the bottom of the third inning. Brown singled first, then was moved to second on a grounder up the middle hit by Gosnell.
Ayers flied out for the second out of the inning. Trey Armstrong hit a grounder to short that was tossed to second base where North Stokes made the force play.
Two Viking batters were struck out by Boaz in the top of the fourth. The other flied out to keep Boaz’s no-hitter alive through four innings.
East faced two outs in the bottom half of the fourth with just one runner, Lasley, on base. Bowman hit a blooper to right field to move Lasley to second. Lasley scored on an RBI single hit by Boaz to make it 3-0.
The Vikings’ Ben Chesnet was walked to start the fifth inning. Ethan Puckett recorded North’s first hit of the game with a single hit to left field. Josh Manring bunted to try and move Chesnet to third, but the southpaw Boaz quickly fielding the hit and made the throw to Ayers at third for the out.
Boaz kept the scoreboard clean by striking out the next two batters.
East Surry’s lead doubled in the bottom of the fifth. Gosnell led off with frozen rope to left-center field that earned him a double. A wild pitch sent Gosnell to third, and then Ayers was walked to put runners on the corners.
Armstrong scored Gosnell with an RBI double hit to right-center field.
The next two Cardinal batters got out as Ayers and Armstrong waited in scoring position. Both boys would score when Willoughby placed a hit perfectly between the center and right fielders, increasing the lead to 6-0.
Boaz walked the first batter of the sixth inning, Dylan James, but struck out the next two. James advanced to second on a wild pitch, which put him in position to score on a hit from Bryson Bennett. Bennett made it safely to second when the throw was made home.
Chesnet was walked and Gosnell subbed in on the mound after that. Puckett was Gosnell’s first batter. Puckett took Gosnell’s first pitch and hit a line drive to left-center field that scored Chesnet and put Puckett on third. The Cards forced a fly out to leave two runners on base and hold the Vikings to two runs.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, North Stokes pitcher Blaze Lawson hit both Brown and Gosnell with pitches. Ayers got his first hit of the game by placing a grounder between the first and second baseman. This allowed Brown to score and increase the Cardinal lead to 7-2.
Lawson picked up a strikeout for the second out of the inning, but allowed the bases to be loaded when he walked Tristan Mason. Lawson threw a wild pitch that gave Gosnell time to score the eighth run.
North Stokes’ last-ditch effort to score began with Lawson flying out. Brandon Shemo got on with a single, then James followed suit with one of his own. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.
Christian Shemo grounded out at first, but gave Brandon Shemo time to reach the plate. Brown attempted to throw the Viking out at home after making the force play at first, but the throw to Bowman was a hair too late.
This would be North Stokes’ only run of the inning, however, as Elijah Cone flied out to end the game.
East Surry is ranked No. 5 in the 1A division by MaxPreps with just one week remaining in the regular season.
The Cardinals are set to play two conference games during the final week. The team hosts Mount Airy on June 8 and travel to Bishop McGuinness on June 11.
North Stokes – 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2, 1 = 3
East Surry – 1, 1, 0, 1, 3, 2, x = 8