Mountain-Valley 1A/2A Conference
Huskies Fall to Starmount, East Wilkes in West Jefferson
April 16, 2010By ACHS iHigh of Ashe County Huskies
by Joel Frady
Rams Edge Huskies in Sixth
For the second consecutive Friday, the Ashe County Huskies found themselves on the verge of victory in the bottom of the seventh inning, down by a score with runners on second and third and two outs. Just like the previous Friday, however, the inning ended with a routine ground ball for the third out and another close home loss in the Mountain Valley Conference.
The game was close from the start, as the Starmount Rams took advantage of a lead-off double in the first inning with a sacrifice bunt and a fly ball to deep center field that gave the Rams a 1-0 advantage. The lead didn't last long, however, as Ashe County loaded the bases with two walks and a single in their first three batters. Ashe senior Evan Gray evened the score at 1-1 when he reached first on an infield hit that sent Ashe senior Aaron Scott in for the score. After another walk the Huskies loaded the bases again - this time with two out - but all three runners were left on base.
The Huskies took advantage of some poor pitching by the Rams in the bottom of the second after Ashe junior Zach Walter walked and Scott was hit by a pitch. The runners then took advantage of three wild pitches thrown over the span of a single batter, with runners scoring on the second and third wild pitches for a 3-1 lead.
Ashe retained the lead until the fourth inning when Starmount tied the game on a double and an Ashe fielding error.
Starmount took the lead in the sixth after a Starmount runner avoided the tag at home plate for a 4-3 lead. The Huskies loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth but were unable to score.
Starmount held on for the 4-3 victory.
Ashe County Head Coach Ronnie Pruitt said he thinks his team is "continuing to play well. I just wish we could get over that hump in these close ball games and find a way to get a win under our belt." He noted that the team needs "timely hitting," noting that they have had runners on base "throughout games" but have been unable to get them back to home plate.
Pruitt said he is still proud of his team and "the way they compete. They're competing hard and I appreciate the effort they're continuing to give and the positive outlook that they have for every game they have."
Cardinals Rally Past Huskies
Ashe County came out hitting on Tuesday, April 13, against the East Wilkes Cardinals, getting three early hits that led to an early 3-0 lead. Aaron Scott opened the inning with a lead-off double and scored on an RBI infield hit by Ashe senior Greyson Wells. Three batters later, Evan Gray hit a triple that scored Wells and Ashe senior David Dalessandro, who singled before Gray.
East Wilkes began to come back in the second, opening the inning with a single before taking advantage of two Ashe errors to score a run. The Cardinals got tricky with two outs and runners on first and third, sending the runner from first halfway to second and forcing Ashe players to chase him down for the third out - but allowing the runner from third to score and cut the Ashe lead to 3-2 in the process.
The Cardinals struck again in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with a walk, a bunt single and an Ashe error. East Wilkes tied the game by stealing home on a wild pitch and loaded the bases again on a walk. A sacrifice fly ball to left field scored and gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game.
The Huskies mounted their own comeback in the fifth. Dalessandro walked to open the inning and scored two batters later on a single by Gray. Gray then scored when Ashe senior Steven Hare reached first on an East Wilkes field error with two outs to give Ashe a 5-4 lead.
East Wilkes responded in the sixth, scoring two runs - on a balk and an RBI-double - to take the lead for good. Ashe County opened both the sixth and seventh innings with singles but never got past second as the Cardinals sealed the 6-5 win.
The loss dropped Ashe County to 1-12 overall and 1-11 in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Huskies will host Alleghany on Friday, April 16, and Elkin on Tuesday, April 20.