Elkin’s sophomore ace Will Altemueller was perfect through four innings and eventually helped the Elks shut out Ashe County, 8-0, in the first round of the Mountain Valley Conference Tournament.
Altemueller pitched all seven innings and struck out 10 Ashe hitters while walking just one.
Senior Alex Laws took the loss for Ashe, surrendering four runs (three earned) in five innings of work. He gave up five hits and struck out two.
Both pitchers kept a shutout intact until the fourth inning when Elkin broke through with four runs.
Aaron Sturdivant scored on an error, the first of six Ashe County fielding miscues. Tanner Edwards connected on a two-run double that plated Jeremy Pierce and Daniel Brinegar. Drew Shinkle scored on a wild pitch to cap off the inning.
Elkin added another run in the fifth when Jackson Carter scampered home on an Ashe error.
In the top the seventh, the Elks put the final nail in the coffin with a three-run frame. Carter and Sturdivant each had RBI singles and Carter scored his second run of the game on an Ashe error.
Ashe was able to get two on in the bottom half of the seventh, thanks to a triple from Hunter Barnes and a walk to CoCo Clay, but Joseph Lowder and Matthew Hamilton struck out and Carter Calhoun popped out to shortstop to end the game.
This was Altemueller’s second shutout of the season and second win over the Huskies. Previously, the sophomore gave up just one unearned run in a win on April 16. Altemueller has now won four starts in a row and given up just one earned run in the last 26 innings.
The Huskies will now sit and wait to find out who its 2A state playoff opponent will be. Ashe will most likely be on the road in the first round.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87