PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry won its home opener against county rival Surry Central 2-1 in nonconference baseball on Saturday at upgraded Barry Hall Field.
The Cardinals (8-0) won their first seven games away from home as winter weather delayed construction on their home facilities. East has new dugouts and a new backstop.
“I thought if we lose at home, we’ll play them all away,” said coach Barry Hall of East Surry with a chuckle. “It was good for us to get out here. It looks good. Randy Marion, our athletic director, and coaches Jerry and Chad Freeman deserve a lot of credit. It’s been a team effort to get it done.”
Seth Brim, a 6-foot-5 senior right-hander, threw six innings of shutout ball for the win — scattering seven hits and striking out three. Reliever Lucas Koons pitched the final two innings for the save. He allowed one run off one hit with two walks and a strikeout.
East got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning. Cody Ashburn hit a one-out single off Central starter Samuel Harris. Ashburn moved to second on an error and Brim followed with another infield single. Preston Smith hit a grounder and pinch runner John Snow was forced out at second while Ashburn scored from third for a 1-0 lead.
The Cards tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth. Tyler Marion smashed a one-out double off the fence in left center field and he later moved to third on a wild pitch. Alec Wilson drove in Marion with a single and a 2-0 East advantage.
The Eagles (3-4) got their only run in the top of the seventh. Jake Wilmoth hit an infield single and moved into scoring positions off groundouts by Forest Kimbrell and Stephen Bruner. Wilmoth crossed homeplate on a wild pitch from Lucas Koons.
Cole Fowler drew a walk, but Koons got another groundout to secure the win.
Harris, a senior right-hander, went the distance for Central in the loss. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three. Bruner had two singles for the Eagles.
East won its second straight one-run game — defeating Mount Airy 1-0 in extra innings late Friday night in an early Northwest Conference showdown.
“They did what they were supposed to do,” Hall said. “We are trying to get a little better.”
The Cardinals are scheduled to play Bishop McGuinness in Kernersville on Tuesday. Central is scheduled to play Elkin in a nonconference matchup at home on Monday.