Sophomore ace Joseph Lowder got his fourth win of the season and the Huskies snapped a three-game conference losing skid with a 4-3 win at home over North Wilkes.
Carter Calhoun started things for Ashe by stealing second base after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the third. Michael Elliott was hit by a pitch as well to put two runners on with just one out.
Senior Joe Richardson slapped a single to right that brought in Calhoun from second base. Elliott advanced to third.
The inning wasn’t over yet as Alex Laws reached on an error to load the bases with two outs.
Hunter Barnes was up next and was drilled by a pitch that allowed Elliott to walk home for a 2-0 advantage.
North Wilkes got both runs back on a two-run double by Ben Parrish in the top of the fourth.
The Vikings took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning as the Huskies had a tough time defensively. L.J. Hendren reached on an error, and then moved to second base on a wild pitch.
Hendren took off for third base and catcher Bradley Richie’s throw rolled into the outfield allowing Hendren to easily score.
Lowder struck out Parrish with a runner on to end the inning and minimize the damage.
Richie atoned for his earlier error by knocking a single to right that scored Elliott after he singled to leadoff the inning and moved to second on a fielder’s choice.
The inning kept going as Laws was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Jamie Weaver came in as a courtesy runner for the catcher. Weaver and Laws both moved up a base on a double steal.
Up next, Lowder hit a bouncer to short, but an error allowed for Weaver to score the go-ahead run with just two innings left to play.
Ashe’s pitching and defense helped preserve the win by making some nice plays down the stretch.
Lowder struck out two of the final six batters and Laws made a terrific diving play to get the final out of the game with the tying run on second base.
Ashe finished with five hits in the contest. Richardson, Richie, Barnes, Matthew Hamilton and Elliott each had a hit. Elliott scored two runs, Weaver scored one and Calhoun had the other run. Richie, Barnes and Richardson each had RBIs.
On the mound, Lowder tossed a complete game and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. The sophomore retired seven Viking players on strikes.
Nick Bumgarner started for North Wilkes and pitched six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits with no walks or strikeouts.
Ashe is now 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.
The baseball team is scheduled to be at home against West Wilkes on Tuesday. Ashe will also play Watauga at Appalachian State’s baseball stadium on Wednesday and host Alleghany on Friday to start the second half of the MVAC schedule.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87