The Greyhounds rallied for seven runs in the sixth inning, but despite a huge comeback, fell to 4A East Forsyth on Thursday night, by a 13-12 decision in a game that went eight innings.
North Surry trailed their hosts 11-5 at one point, but rallied to tie the game at 11 and then at 12, and had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, they were unable to get another run home, and the visiting Eagles pulled it out in the first extra inning.
East Forsyth, which never trailed in the game, took a 2-0 lead before North even came to bat. Batting in the three spot, Connor Norby had one out and a runner at second when his double allowed the first Eagle to cross plate. Mason Gwyn caught Harrison Hayse’s foul pop up to collect the second out, but before the visitor’s time at the plate concluded, there were Eagles on the corners when Norby stole home to give the visitors a 2-0 edge.
As it did all evening, North Surry responded. Leadoff man Kobe Slate walked. With Slate at first, Mackenzie Cooke’s first hit on the night was just shy of a home run, and the double brought in Slate for the first Greyhound score. With one down, Reid Stanley popped his first hit of the night over the second baseman, driving in Cooke to tie the game.
The Eagles retook the lead in the second. On Blake Williams’ first pitch, he doubled to left. Danny Fish followed with a triple that put the visitors from Winston-Salem back in front.
The East Forsyth lead was up to 4-2 when North Surry responded. Slate started things off in the third by reaching base, and then Came around to score on a triple by Cooke. This hit was followed by a Stanley line drive, placed perfectly in the gap to bring Cooke home and tie the game at 4.
In response to the even ballgame, the Eagles posted a two-run fourth inning. Norby’s mid-inning double drove in two runs before the Hounds could get an out. Chase Chandler walked to open up the Hounds’ half of the fourth, followed by a Calvin Johnson hit and an Ethan Oakley bunt, but couldn’t get anyone home in the bottom half of the inning.
The middle of the game didn’t go well for North Surry. In the fifth, the bases were loaded full of Eagles when Kendal Tucker was called in to relieve Chase Swartz on the hill. The first batter Tucker faced drilled a line drive to left-center field and brought in two runs, but Tucker escaped with no more damage, as he got the next man on a bunt attempt and then struck out Norby to end the inning. However, the Hounds were down 9-5 and couldn’t get a man past first base in their half of the inning.
East Forsyth’s Tanner Smith hit a two-run homer in the sixth to extend his team’s lead to 11-5, but North Surry still had plenty of fight left.
The real magic happened in bottom of the sixth, as the Hounds went through their complete lineup before the Eagles could get out of the inning. Johnson walked to start things off for the home team, and then Ryan Ward and Mack Cooke were walked too, loading the bases for Tucker with one out. He sent a chopper to left field, singling to drive home Johnson. Gwyn became the fourth of six batters to walk up against the Eagles’ pitching staff in the sixth inning. Ward came home on a wild pitch. Stanley beat out an infield chopper and brought in Cooke. The bases remained loaded as Nick Badgett hit a line drive to right field which drove in Tucker and Gwyn. The Hounds were within two of the Eagles and only had one out accounted for. On a 2-2 count, Chandler collected two bases as he sent a drive to center field, tying the game at 11. Johnson then reached again, but East Forsyth got out of the inning with no more damage. After six complete innings, North Surry had outhit the Eagles and had time to pull out the win.
Tucker was replaced by Cooke on the mound, but the first batter he faced collected a double and brought in a run in to give the Eagles a 12-11 lead in the seventh. In the do-or-die bottom of the seventh for the Hounds, Tucker walked and then Gywn followed with a triple on his first pitch to score Tucker and tie the game again. East Forsyth pitcher Sam Peddycord intentionally walked Stanley and Badgett to load the bases, but a punch out and quick throw-out at first allowed the Eagles to escape and force extra innings.
Cooke struck out Smith to collect the first out, and a pop up grab in left field gathered the second, but the third would not come until after the most pivotal moment in the game. There were two outs, with two Eagles on base who had walked and advanced off of a wild pitch, when the umpire called North Surry for a balk. This allowed the runner on third base to advance with the go-ahead run and put the visitors back in front 13-12.
The controversial call gave the opposition a one-run lead. Even though the Hounds had another opportunity to score, they would not convert, as the game concluded after a quick three up, three down inning from North Surry.
Although it came up a run short on the scoreboard, North Surry outhit its opposition 16-13.
The Greyhounds hosted East Surry on Friday night and lost 7-2 to the Cardinals. A full report on that game will appear in tomorrow’s issue of the Mount Airy News. North Surry (3-3) will travel to West Jefferson to take on Ashe County on Monday night.