PILOT MOUNTAIN — Madison Chilton hit a solo home run and Tyler Marion pitched a complete-game shutout as East Surry advanced past Starmount 5-0 in the second round of the Class 1A West baseball playoffs on Friday night at Barry Hall Field.
With the victory, the Cardinals (26-0) tied a school-record for wins in a season, a mark also achieved by the 1982 team that reached the state finals.
East will take on the East Montgomery-Elkin winner on Tuesday night in the third-round matchup.
Marion gave up a one-out single before another player reached on a fielder’choice in the first inning. He gave up just two hits the rest of the way.
“That’s how it’s been all year,” Marion said. “It’s not jitters. It’s just getting out there and letting the defense work.”
Marion, who struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and retired Starmount in order in the sixth and seventh innings, said he was in a zone.
Coach Barry Hall said once Marion gets out of the first inning, he gets in a zone.
He got stronger as the game wore on — and East starting putting runs on the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the first inning, Logan Sheets reached on an error, stole second and moved to third on a sac bunt from Weston Payne. Marion helped out his own cause with an RBI base hit off starter Blake Cheek to score Sheets. An error in the outfield allowed Marion to reach second on the play.
Pinch runner Preston Smith moved to third on a passed ball, and Alec “Gator” Wilson drove in another run with a base hit.
In the third inning, Chilton’s solo shot just left of the flag pole in center field made it 3-0 Cards.
It’s been a tough week for Chilton, whose grandfather was involved in a tractor accident shortly after East won the Northwest 1A Conference tournament. Chilton said his grandfather is home recovering.
East’s starting catcher has been on a tear lately — also hitting a home run in the NW tournament final against Walkertown.
“When I go up to bat, I am just thinking base hit,” Chilton said. “It’s just about having confidence. I do strikeout, a lot. But, even if it does happen, I know I can come back and get a hit.”
The Cards tacked on another run in the fifth. Wilson singled and later advanced all the way to third on a Starmount error. He would score on an RBI sac fly from Seth Brim.
East got its final run of the night in the sixth. Blake Marion drew a walk, and pinch runner Joshua Sawyers stole second. A groundout from Payne moved him to third, and he scored on Tyler Marion’s single to center field.
East finished with nine hits for the game.
Starmount (8-17) had already seen the Cards twice this season — dropping a doubleheader in Boonville on March 15. Cheek threw all six innings in this one for the Rams.
“They are by the far the best high school team we’ve played all year,” Starmount coach Josh Pardue said. “Offensively, they do everything right. Defensively, they do not mess up. What did they have, one error? You have to play seven innings to beat them.”
Starmount got a single from Sawyer Davis in the first inning, but he was tagged out at second on a fielder’s choice. Garrett Stokes had a two-out base hit in the fourth but the pinch runner was picked off at second. In the fifth, Dalton Oliver hit a two-out double, but Marion got a strikeout to end the inning.
“Tyler threw great. I thought we made routine plays behind him,” Hall said. “They know the goals that are in front of them. We’ve got two more games, then after that we’ll take our chances in a series.”