The Ashe County varsity baseball team started the year off on the right foot with a 6-2 non-conference victory over Surry Central.
Surry Central scored first with a two-run single from Stephen Bruner in the top of the third inning.
The Eagles’ lead did not last very long. Ashe bounced back with four runs in the bottom half of the third.
Bradley Richie connected on an RBI double to left that scored Joe Richardson. Jamie Weaver came in as a courtesy runner and ended up stealing home on a double steal after Hunter Barnes singled and swiped second base.
With the score tied, Ashe kept the pressure on. Alex Laws walked and then Barnes stole third base to put runners on the corners with no outs.
Joseph Lowder struck out and Barnes got caught stealing home, leaving the Huskies in need of a two-out clutch hit to break the 2-2 tie.
Matthew Hamilton came through with an RBI single that scored Laws from third. Hamilton advanced to second on an error.
Next up, Evan Walker smacked a single to right field to bring in Hamilton from second, giving Ashe a 4-2 lead.
The score remained the same until the fifth inning. Evan Walker hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Laws from third base.
Ashe added one more run in the sixth with an RBI double by Laws that scored Thomas Sexton.
Sophomore Joseph Lowder pitched a complete game and gave up two runs on five hits and struck out 13 Eagle hitters.
Richie and Hamilton finished the game with two hits each. Laws had two runs and one RBI.
Next up, the Huskies will travel to West Caldwell on Tuesday.
Head Coach Ronnie Pruitt hopes that the team’s hard work pays off with a strong season this year.
“The players are really working hard in practice and the players have been really competitive with each other in regards to earning playing time,” said Pruitt.
Pruitt said that the team’s seniors are doing a great job in stepping up to be team leaders for the younger guys on the team.
Year in and year out, the Mountain Valley Conference always has some solid teams, and this year is no different, meaning the conference championship race will be a tight one from the start.
“We do play in a really competitive league and if we continue to do the things in practice that the coaches tell them to do and get better at these things, then we should have a really great season,” said Coach Pruitt.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87