Ashe County will be part of the 2A state playoffs after beating North Wilkes last week and locking down a fourth place finish in the conference.
Ashe 14, North Wilkes 3
The Huskies exploded for 11 runs in the final two innings to blow a close game wide open and clinch a playoff spot.
Ashe took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. Carter Calhoun scored on an error and Bradley Richie ripped a two-run double to center field that scored Joe Richardson and Alex Laws.
The score remained the same until the fifth inning. Laws started the scoring with a two-run single to left that brought in Richardson and Michael Elliott. Hunter Barnes kept things going with an RBI double that plated Laws.
CoCo Clay reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Joseph Lowder and Calhoun ripped a single to right that brought home Matthew Hamilton and put Ashe in front, 8-0.
North Wilkes got three runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Daniel Pruitt scored on an error, Josh Bare scored on a passed ball and L.J. Hendren scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to short.
The Huskies scored six runs in the sixth inning, all with two outs.
Lowder’s single brought in Laws. Hamilton singled and brought in Barnes and Lowder to make the score 11-3. Hamilton eventually scored on a wild pitch after stealing second and advancing to third on a walk that loaded the bases.
An RBI single by Elliott that scored Clay and Calhoun were the final runs of the game. Lowder pitched an uneventful bottom of the sixth inning to finish a complete game victory.
Lowder remains undefeated on the season and allowed three unearned runs on five hits, five walks and seven strikeouts.
Richardson had another great game from the leadoff spot, collecting four hits and scoring a pair of runs. Laws led Ashe with three runs scored and also drove in a run. Richie had two RBI’s. Barnes, Lowder, Hamilton, Clay, Calhoun and Elliott all scored at least one run and drove in at least one run.
West Wilkes 4, Ashe 2
Ashe held a two-run lead late in the game, but could not hold on as West Wilkes rallied for three runs in the sixth inning
Hamilton’s RBI single in the fourth inning plated Barnes from second and Clay’s single to left scored Hamilton from second to put Ashe ahead, 2-1.
The Blackhawks got one run back in the fifth inning when Cameron Laws smacked a single to left.
West took the lead in the sixth inning off the bat of Jacob Wood. His RBI double to center scored Jeremiah Triplett and Evan Edmiston. Josh Bauguess added an RBI single to push the lead to two runs.
Ashe got one baserunner in the seventh inning but could not get anything going offensively.
A. Laws was solid on the mound for the second time this season, surrendering two earned runs on eight hits and two walks.
Bauguess got the win for West, pitching all seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts.
Ashe is scheduled to open the first round of the MVAC Tournament on Monday at home against Elkin.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87