Ashe County closed the week strong with a non-conference win over North Surry and a big win on Senior Night over East Wilkes.
Ashe 3, North Surry 2
Senior Alex Laws pitched his first game of the season and made a statement, tossing a complete game and surrendering just two runs (one earned) and recording the win.
The Greyhounds scored first on an RBI groundout by Casey Wright that scored Tyler Clement in the second inning.
North Surry added another run in the top of the seventh off the bat of Camden Atkins and it looked like the Greyhounds were going to be able to hold on for the win.
Ashe had other ideas though in the bottom of the seventh. Joe Richardson and Laws singled to right to put two on and one out for catcher Bradley Richie, who has been one of the team’s top hitters all year long. Richie slapped a single to right that scored Richardson. Laws moved to third and Richie advanced to second on the throw from the outfield.
Hunter Barnes was intentionally walked to load the bases and bringing Joseph Lowder to the plate.
Lowder, who had been through a tough week already after the death of his grandfather, came through with the walk-off, two-run single to left field that brought in Laws and Richie to win the game.
The first five spots in the batting order for Ashe all had great plate appearances throughout. Richardson led the way with three hits from the leadoff spot. Laws, Richie, Barnes and Lowder each had two hits. In total, the top five hitters went 11-for-19 (.579 batting average) at the dish.
Ashe 7, East Wilkes 1
Ashe got its second outstanding pitching performance in as many games, this time from Lowder. The sophomore pitched a complete game and gave up just two hits and one unearned run with 10 strikeouts.
Both teams scored in the first inning. Levi Ray scored the Cardinals’ only run on an error in the top of the first while Richie drove in Laws with a single to tie the score.
The Huskies got a pair of runs in the second inning off Richardson’s bat. The senior leadoff hitter popped a single to left to left that scored Matthew Hamilton and Zack May.
Ashe piled on its last four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Barnes and Richie both scored on wild pitches and Carter Calhoun had a pinch-hit, two-run single to right that scored Lowder and Calder Clay.
Lowder struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning to remain unbeaten on the season.
Up next, Ashe will look to even its overall record to 9-9 at North Wilkes on Tuesday night.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87