BOONVILLE — Last week’s Mountain Valley Athletic Conference baseball game between the Starmount Rams and the East Wilkes Cardinals saw both teams put up a seven-inning fight. The Rams were able to take a one-run win over the Cardinals thanks to a walk-off single by Patrick Usher in the seventh inning.
The Rams started things off by scoring two runs in the first inning as Usher doubled to center field to bring Houston Nicks across the plate. Usher was then brought around the bases as Brock Mullins recorded his first RBI of the night.
The Rams would add to their score in the second inning as Jason Hernandez was brought across the plate after a ground ball by Peyton Mullins. Starmount brought another run in in the fourth inning as Mullins scored off of a triple by Braedon Macemore.The fifth saw two more runs added to the Rams’ total as they took a 6-0 lead over East Wilkes.
With a 6-0 lead, the Rams looked to be in control of the rest of the game. It wasn’t until the top of the sixth inning that the East Wilkes Cardinals were able to put runs on the board. Andrew Elmore scored the first run for the Cardinals as he stole home.
The Cards kept the runs coming as Bryce Vestal scored on a double by Brannon Church. With the score sitting as 6-2, the Cardinals added another run to cut Starmount’s lead in half. Jared Wood doubled to center field to score Church and give the Cardinals their third run of the inning.
While the Cardinals put up three runs, the Rams added another run to make the score 7-3 after six innings. With the last inning looming, East Wilkes came out firing at the plate. Things started off with four walks as Vess Bullins, Elmore, Vestal and Caeden Howell all found first base. With four walks, Bullins was able to make his way across the plate to add a run for the Cardinals.
The runs didn’t stop there, as Church was able to hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop which scored Elmore and put the Cardinals down by two runs. Wood and Burcham were unable to get a hit as both players struck out swinging and gave the Cardinals two outs. The two outs didn’t matter as East Wilkes added two more runs to tie the game 7-7 after Zachary Lovette singled to center field to bring Vestal and Howell across the plate.
Just as the score was tied, the Cardinals decided to go ahead and take a one-run lead as Gralan Durham singled to right field to bring Church in for another run. The Cardinals had an 8-7 lead over the Rams, as Starmount had one more inning to tie or take the lead.
The Rams started off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single to left field by Ethan Barnes. Barnes stole second to bring the tying run one bag closer to home plate. With Barnes on second, Craft was hit by a pitch to take the winning run to first base. With runners on first and second, the bases became loaded as Mullins was walked and Macemore came up to bat for the Rams. Macemore did his job as he singled on a line drive to right field to tie the game, 8-8.
With two outs on the board and things looking to be headed to extra innings, the Rams were able to bring in the winning run by the skin of their teeth. Usher popped-up to center field, but the Cardinals were unable to bring the ball down and Starmount took a one-run win over East Wilkes.
Dawson Smith pitched five innings for the Rams as he threw five strikeouts and allowed six hits. Ryan Tulbert pitched to five batters allowing two hits and one strike-out. Henry Stone threw to three batters with one strike-out and two walks. Usher had three strike-outs and faced eight batters.
East Wilkes used two pitchers as Lovette pitched five innings where he threw two strike-outs, Vestal also threw one strike-out.
The Rams move to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the MVAC. East Wilkes takes a 3-8 overall record and a 1-4 MVAC record.