Mount Airy’s Jon Cagle pitched a two-hit shutout to defeat North Surry 4-0 Thursday.
Cagle and North’s Brady Watts had a pitchers’ duel going into the middle of the fifth inning before the Bears put up three runs.
Watts shut out the Bears last week in a pitchers’ duel with Logan Holder.
Mount Airy’s starters got two and three at-bats against Watts last time, so the hitters had some familiarity with the hurler, noted Bear coach Jon Cawley.
The Hounds, however, saw a new face in Cagle.
Cagle is a good pitcher, and he threw the ball well, said North coach Travis Gammons. Brady pitched well again, giving him back-to-back strong performances, but he didn’t have the run support.
Watts gave up four runs, but the first two were unearned.
“Unearned runs come back to haunt you,” said Gammons.
In the first inning, North got a runner to third with two outs, but couldn’t score.
In the bottom half, the Bears’ Kenny Overfelt walked.
Watts tried to pick the runner off first, but the setting sun was directly over third base shining into the first baseman’s eyes. The pickoff throw got past the fielder and up to the fence in shallow right field.
Cawley waved Overfelt around second, and the throw from right was too high and got past the third baseman for a three-base error that let Overfelt score.
Cawley tried to be aggressive on the basepaths at other times in the game, but North catcher Nick Wilson gunned down four runners.
Wilson pitched the night before at East Surry, so Cawley hoped that the young man’s arm might be sore or tight and give his team an advantage, but Wilson rose to the challenge.
In the fifth inning, the Bears got a runner aboard with one out off an infield error.
Corbin Welch got his second hit of the night on a hard grounder through the left side.
Overfelt blasted a liner just over the reach of the second baseman into right field.
Logan Holder scored off the single, but Welch was gunned down at third base.
Cagle bounced a grounder up the middle to put runners on the corners with two outs.
Cagle stole second without a throw, then a wild pitch allowed Overfelt to score and Cagle to take third.
Clay Mounce hit another grounder up the middle to score Cagle with the final run.
In the top of the sixth, the Hounds tried to answer.
On an 0-2 pitch, Cagle hit a batter, then walked Tyler Clement with no one out.
Cawley walked out to the mound to check on his young ace. He told Cagle to stop being so particular with pitches; throw strikes and rely on the defense to make plays.
Cagle got Wilson to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play. Then the next batter grounded out to second to end the threat.
In the seventh, the first batter hit the ball solidly but flew out to center. Then Tanner Hodgin singled to left.
However, the Bears turned another double play to end the game.
The Bears travel to Atkins today, then they host Bishop McGuinness Tuesday.
North Surry is back home Monday with North Wilkes.
• Cawley noted that Mount Airy is hosting a college baseball game on Thursday. Bluefield State’s JV team will be the home team for a 6:30 p.m. game.
Cawley said he would hold team practice early so that his guys could hang around and watch a college team perform.