Starmount takes vital MVAC win over East Wilkes

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com
Patrick Usher had 12 strikeouts for the Starmount Rams on Friday night. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune

BOONVILLE — Coming down to the last few weeks of the regular season, baseball teams are looking for wins now more than ever. In the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, things are heating up between the top teams.

On Friday night, Starmount (9-11, 7-5) hosted East Wilkes (10-10, 8-4) in a conference battle. The Rams were looking for a vital win to pull back within one game of the second place Cardinals in the MVAC standings. Starmount put down a hard hitting performance in the third inning to take a 4-2 win over East Wilkes.

Things started out in East Wilkes’ favor, as the Cardinals were able to score a run in the first inning. Sean Sidden put down a single for his first at-bat. Jared Wood stepped up to the plate, and as Wood was facing pitches Sidden stole second and third. With a runner on third and one out, Bryce Vestal stepped up to the plate for East Wilkes. On a 3-0 count, Vestal saw a wild pitch which brought Sidden home for another stolen base and the first run of the night. The Cardinal were able to head into the bottom of the first inning with a 1-0 lead over Starmount.

Starmount was able to advance two runners on base with one out, but East Wilkes held the Rams on base as Vestal put down two strikeouts. As the game went on, both teams came up big defensively to keep the score 1-0 in East Wilkes’ favor.

In the bottom of the third inning, the tide shifted towards the Starmount Rams. With one out, Trey Dezern was walked to put a runner on base. Peyton Mullins stepped up to the plate, and on a 1-0 count he sent the ball sailing over the left field fence for a two-run home run. The Rams kept up its momentum as the inning went on. Patrick Usher was able to score the third run for the Rams, while Brock Mullins was able to score the fourth run. At the end of the third inning, Starmount had a 4-1 lead over East Wilkes.

The Cardinals picked up one run in the top of the fifth, as Vestal scored off of a Zach Lovette hit. East Wilkes cut Starmount’s lead in half, but the Cardinals were unable to pick up any additional runs. As the final inning took place, Starmount was able to hang on to take a 4-2 MVAC win over East Wilkes.

With the win, Starmount is tied for third place with Wilkes Central (7-5). The Rams will host North Wilkes (6-6) on Wednesday night in Boonville. East Wilkes will travel to Wilkes Central on Wednesday night for another important conference game. The Cardinals will be looking for a win to stay in second place in the MVAC.

Patrick Usher had 12 strikeouts for the Starmount Rams on Friday night.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_DSC_0330.jpgPatrick Usher had 12 strikeouts for the Starmount Rams on Friday night. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com