BOONVILLE — Starmount may have dropped a doubleheader to visiting East Surry Saturday, but there were a lot of positives for Coach Josh Pardue to talk about after more than four hours of baseball.
There was the pitching performances by Blake Cheek and Luke Shore in the opener and the hitting performances by Garrett Stokes and Miles Caudle in the second game. In addition, before an unusual ruling on a hit batsman in the sixth inning of the first game, the Rams played errorless ball.
Cheek started the first game, going four innings and allowing one hit, one earned run, five walks, a hit batsman and striking out one.
Despite the number of walks, Cheek found the strike zone when he needed to. “He did a good job of throwing strikes,” Pardue said. “He got ahead of the majority of the batters.”
Shore came on in the fourth inning of the second game and shut down the heart of East Surry’s lineup in order. He then put down the other three batters he faced in the fifth — two by strikeout.
“He’s obviously going to be one of our go-to pitchers,” Pardue said. “He’s done a really good job of getting ahead in the count.”
Stokes had two hits in the second game, including a double. “Garrett’s getting more comfortable seeing live pitching,” Pardue said. “A lot of these guys are coming around.”
Pardue said Caudle is attacking the fastball early in the count. “He doesn’t look like a sophomore,” Pardue said.
Starmount jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning in the opening game. Sawyer Davis reached first base when East Surry’s catcher mishandled strike three. Ben Combs then followed with an RBI double.
The Rams managed just three baserunners over the next six innings.
East Surry evened it at 1-1 when a hit batsman and two walks set up a two-out RBI single by Logan Sheets. The single was the only hit allowed by Cheek, the Starmount starter.
The Cardinals broke it open in the sixth with four runs. Seth Brim led off with an infield single. Scott Meredith, looking to bunt Brim over to second, was hit by a pitch. The pitch did not appear to be wild and Meredith looked to be bunting, but Meredith was awarded first base.
The call seemed to take the wind out of Starmount’s sails. After a walk loaded the bases, the Rams committed their first two errors of the game. Tyler Marion then delivered a two-run single and the Cardinals were up 5-1. Marion also would knock in two runs with a single as East Surry put up four more runs in the seventh.
In the second game, East Surry scored eight runs on four hits and three errors in the first inning to grab the early lead. Blake Marion’s RBI double was the batting highlight in the inning for the Cardinals.
Garrett Stokes delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the first for the Rams. A second run scored on the play as the result of an error.
Down 8-2 in the fifth, Shore and Caleb West singled to start the inning. Caudle later delivered an RBI single with two out to make it 8-3.
“Give credit to them,” Pardue said of East Surry. “They’re one of the premier 1A teams in the state. It was good for us to play them two games.
“A goal for us is to get to where East Surry is.”
In the JV game, East Surry rallied from a 13-8 deficit to win 14-13.
ES 010 004 4 — 9 5 1
S 100 000 0 — 1 3 4
Tyler Marion, Scott Meredith (6) and Madison Chilton. Blake Cheek, Caleb West (5) and West, Brandon Gambill (5). 2B — Chilton (ES), Ben Combs (S).
ES 800 00 — 8 5 2
S 200 10 — 3 6 3
Seth Brim and Chilton. Tanner Somers, Luke Shore (4) and West. 2B — Blake Marion (ES), Garrett Stokes (S). Records: ES 5-0, S 2-4.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.