A Husky error in the eighth inning let Wilkes Central’s game-winning run score on a hit one batter later to deal Ashe a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.
Ashe struggled mightily on defense, committing 11 errors, but still kept the game close thanks to solid pitching from starter Joseph Lowder and relief pitchers Jamie Weaver and Matthew Hamilton. Only one of Wilkes Central’s five runs went down as an earned run.
Lowder pitched four innings and gave up four runs with one earned on two hits and three walks. The sophomore struck out eight Eagle hitters.
Hamilton pitched two shutout innings and Weaver pitched one and two-thirds innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit with one strikeout to take the loss.
Ashe scored first when Hunter Barnes scampered home on an error in the top of the second inning.
Wilkes Central answered back in the bottom half of the frame with four runs. Three of the four Eagle runs scored on errors.
The score remained 4-1 until the fifth inning when Barnes belted a two-run double to right that scored Weaver and Alex Laws.
In the sixth inning, Ashe completed the rally on a bunt from Jackson Sloan that scored Hamilton from third after the senior walked, stole second base and stole third base.
The game went into extra innings and Central needed just one turn at the plate to get the win after Ben Church reached on an error and scored on Seth Brown’s game-winning double.
For Ashe, the top half of the lineup did a good job getting on base. Laws finished with one hit, one walk and a run scored from the leadoff spot. Lowder had one hit and a walk, Barnes had two hits and two RBI’s and Joe Richardson finished with a hit.
Church started for Central and pitched five innings and struck out eight Ashe hitters. Church was charged with three unearned runs on five hits with three walks.
Brown not only knocked the game-winning run in, but also got the win on the mound after pitching three no-hit innings in relief.
Ashe is 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The Huskies return to the diamond on Tuesday at East Wilkes before ending the week at home on Friday versus North Wilkes.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87