Mountain-Valley 1A/2A Conference
Varsity ACHS Baseball Shut Out in Season Openers
March 10, 2010By ACHS iHigh of Ashe County Huskies
The Ashe County High School varsity baseball team opened their season with two conference road games and was unable to score a run in either their 10-0 loss at Wilkes Central or their 12-0 loss at Starmount.
Eagles Blank Huskies
The temperature was only slightly above freezing shortly after 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, when the Ashe County Huskies opened their 2010 season against the Wilkes Central Eagles.
The game started well defensively for the Huskies, who didn't allow a run in either of the first two innings. Ashe County struggled at the plate, however, as Wilkes Central pitcher Preston Millsaps struck out the Huskies' first five batters.
Ashe County sophomore opened the third inning with a double but was tagged out after Ashe junior Zach Walter hit a ground ball to the short stop. The game was tied at 0-0 entering the bottom of the third, but it didn't stay that way for long.
Wilkes Central took control of the game with a four-run third inning, but it was Millsaps that kept the Huskies at bay by only allowing three hits for the remainder of the game. The Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth before ending the game with a four run sixth inning.
Ashe County Head Coach Ronnie Pruitt said the Eagles "just came out and they put the ball in play, hit the ball real well. Their pitcher was on the money throwing strikes all night - they looked good."
Pruitt felt his team had a good start defensively but "didn't hit the ball very well at the beginning.
"We told our kids to jump on that first pitch fastball," said Pruitt. "We started putting the ball in play a little bit more but we just didn't hit it as strong as I thought we could."
Falcons Soar Past Ashe
Ashe County traveled to East Bend for a match against the Forbush Falcons on Friday, March 5, but couldn't create much positive momentum in a second straight shutout loss.
The Huskies earned only three hits while committing five errors defensively while allowing Forbush two big innings - a six-run second and a five-run fourth. The game was called after five innings since Forbush was up 12-0.
Pruitt said that Forbush "just came out hitting the ball real well, put the ball in play. They're just a strong baseball team all the way around. They fielded the ball real well and made some plays.
"We put the ball in play pretty decent against Forbush, they just made some great defensive plays and we just couldn't get anything going," he continued.
Two games into the season, Pruitt said he learned that the team needs to work on hitting and conditioning.
"As of right now our pitchers' arms aren't in shape right yet to throw games, go long distances in ball games," said Pruitt. He noted that the players "are trying as hard as they can.
"They are playing hard, they don't quit - they're starting to learn a little bit more about what to do on the field in certain situations," he said. Lack of practice might also be a factor since the team has "only been out on the field five times, compared to everyone down the mountain who has been out there for three weeks or more."
Ashe County will continue to play on the road this week with games at Starmount (0-1) on Tuesday, March 9, and at East Wilkes (2-0) on Friday, March 12.
Pruitt said that the goal "is to win, obviously. Our kids want to win and we need to win a ballgame to feel good about ourselves and our chances. I told our kids they're basically against the wall and they have to come out fighting."