DOBSON — After a game filled with futility both at the plate and in the field, Surry Central’s baseball team finally came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Unfortunately, it was too late, and although the Golden Eagles got the tying run to the plate with two out, it was visiting North Surry that walked out with a 5-2 victory on Friday night.
The Greyhounds (6-4, 2-0 Western Piedmont Athletic Conference) scored two runs in the second inning, added two more in the fifth, and an insurance run in the seventh to lead 5-0. North Surry starter Chase Swartz tossed six shutout innings for his team before giving way to Chase Chandler in the final inning.
In the last of the seventh, the Eagles collected two hits off the senior, by Chandler Johnson and Tyler Whitaker, and ended up scoring two runs when Michael Roberts hit a dribbler down the third-base line. The “swinging bunt” proved highly effective when Chandler raced over to field it and threw wildly past the first-base bag.
The next batter, Ethan Danley, drew a walk, and Tyler Myers stepped to the plate as the potential tying run, but after falling behind in the count again, Chandler struck him out swinging on a high fastball to secure the victory.
By and large, the game was evenly played, with both teams collecting eight hits, but the Golden Eagles (7-4, 0-1) made several costly fielding errors that left them in no position to benefit when North Surry finally made theirs at the end of the game.
In the second inning, North Surry went up 2-0 when a bad throw on what looked like a groundout by the Hounds’ Calvin Johnson got past Central first baseman Ryan Gordon. This was the second Central error of the inning, and it allowed two Greyhounds to come home with unearned runs.
Central finally mounted a serious threat against Swartz in the fourth, but Gordon grounded out to second with runners on the corners and two out.
Hits from Kendal Tucker, Kobe Slate and Brett Johnson, along with another error by the Eagles, doubled North Surry’s lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning and knocked Eagle starter Carter Graham out of the game. Tyler Myers pitched out of the jam for Central, and held North off the board in the sixth, but the Hounds added an insurance run off Troy Jessup in the seventh, again with the help of a Central miscue.
Because of the constant rain which has plagued local sports teams for the last two weeks, it was the first game for North Surry in 10 days, since they won their conference opener 5-2 at West Stokes. The Golden Eagles had last played 13 days earlier, when they won at Atkins.
Central, which had won two straight before the long layoff and Friday’s loss, will return to action today at East Wilkes, while the Hounds will host North Forsyth on Monday before returning to conference action at home against Forbush on Tuesday.
Reach John via Twitter at @joihncate73.