East Surry kept its perfect record intact with a 1-0, nine inning victory over up-and-coming Mount Airy on Friday night in the Northwest 1A Conference opener for both teams.
The Cardinals improved to 7-0 overall and 1-0 the league.
Both the Cards and the Bears threw their aces on Friday — Tyler Marion for East and Jon Cagle for Mount Airy.
“I knew with these pitchers we had the potential for a 1-0 game,” longtime coach Barry Hall of East Surry said. “That was a state playoff type game. People who paid $5 for this one got their money’s worth. If we play again, it’s liable to be a 13-inning ball game.”
Marion threw a one-hitter, had one hit batsman, and struck out 13 in eight innings for the win. Senior Scott Meredith closed the door in the ninth for the save.
Hall said wanted to take Marion out after the seventh, but the junior right-hander talked the coach into one more inning. Meredith, a right-hander, hit the first batter he faced in the ninth, but got a strikeout, flyout and groundout to clinch the win.
“Great pitching from Tyler,” Hall said. “Scott, he’s money when he’s in there.”
Neither team could get on the scoreboard through the first eight innings.
In the top of the ninth, Seth Brim was hit by a pitch from Cagle to start the inning. Meredith put down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Lucas Koons to second base. Joshua Sawyers drew a walk and Koons advanced to third on a passed ball.
Logan Sheets smashed an RBI sac fly to deep center field to drive in the go-ahead run for the Cardinals.
Cagle, a 6-foot-4 senior right-hander who has signed to play at Surry Community College, allowed one run off five hits, walked two, had three hit batsmen, and struck out eight.
For the young Bears (2-4 overall, 0-1 league), it was the second straight 1-0 loss. Mount Airy fell 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh to North Surry on Thursday.
“East Surry is the better team right now,” coach Jon Cawley of Mount Airy said. “They show us where we need to be. I’m proud of our team. We competed. Congratulations to coach Hall. I’m honored to coach against him.”
Tyler Marion and Madison Chilton hit doubles for the Cardinals. Sheets, Brim, and Cody Ashburn each hit singles. Corbin Welch had the one hit for Mount Airy. He hit a one-out single in the fourth, but was thrown out at second base.
East threatened a couple of times to score before the game went to extra innings.
In the third, Sheets reached on an error and moved over on a sac bunt. Marion was walked intentionally and Alec Wilson was hit by a pitch. Chilton hit a sac fly to try and score Sheets from third, but he was tagged out at the plate by Wes Bumgardner.
Chilton belted a leadoff double to deep center in the sixth, but Cagle struck out three of the next four hitters.
Mount Airy’s next contest is a scheduled road game at Walkertown on Tuesday. East Surry will host Surry Central today. The varsity teams will play first, beginning at 1 p.m.