WINSTON-SALEM — North Surry defeated Wilkes Central in this year’s 9th Annual Memorial Baseball Game honoring Major Larry John Bauguess Jr. at the Winston Salem Dash’s BB&T ballpark. The 6-4 win allowed North Surry to hold the trophy for back-to-back wins in the annual showcase hosted by Wilkes Central.
Major Larry J. Bauguess, Jr., was a positive role model, student, and baseball player in Wilkes Central High School’s class of 1989, as well as a devoted father, husband, son, brother, friend and soldier. His life was cut short while serving in Afghanistan on May 14, 2007 by a sniper’s bullet in Teri Mengel, Pakistan.
Although there was no admission charged for Saturday’s baseball game, 100 percent of the donations collected go to help fund two annual scholarships, one male and one female, of $1,000 each, along with improvements to the baseball field and memorial that bear his name at Wilkes Central, and helping make the annual memorial games possible in the future.
Wilkes Central hosts the game every year, and the Eagles invite a team to play them in the annual showcase at BB&T Field. Last year, North Surry became the first team other than Wilkes Central to win the Bauguess game.
North Surry was able to take the lead early on in Saturday’s game, and held the margin comfortably, but in the bottom of the seventh, Wilkes Central’s bats came alive as they came within two runs of their visitors after trailing by five.
Nick Badgett’s first at-bat of the game enabled the first Greyhound to score when a pitch hit the backstop and allowed Kendal Tucker to cross home in the first inning. North Surry left runners on the corners when its time at the dish concluded. The Hounds added another run to their lead and held their opponent scoreless in the second inning. The second run from the visitors originated from Chase Chandler, when his line drive to centerfield earned him two bases and drove in Kobe Slate.
Wilkes Central was able to log a run in the third inning, but the next two innings for North Surry provided insurance in securing their lead and producing a victory. The Hounds posted back-to-back innings logging two runs each, and when the sixth inning came around, they were up five runs.
Mack Cooke singled to right field to open up the fourth inning. He stole his way to third base while Tucker took his turn at bat. Tucker’s line drive guided Cooke home, and he too would round the bases and also come home courtesy of Nick Badgett’s infield single. The home squad was held again scoreless in the fourth inning, which ended with North Surry leading 4-1.
The Greyhounds had more success at the plate in the fifth inning. Slate worked the count full and collected a double with his drive to left centerfield that opened up the inning. Chandler was walked, putting runners on the corners for Cooke. The Hounds had only one out when Cooke stepped into the box and sent a pitch out to centerfield. The hit went for a double. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, but both runners scored in the meantime and extended North Surry’s lead to 6-1.
The Hounds’ six runs remained the score as they were not able to increase their lead in either the sixth or seventh innings. Of Wilkes Central’s four runs on the day, three were from the bottom of the seventh inning alone. A double play from North Surry extinguished their late-game rally and in doing so posted a 6-4 victory.
North Surry had 10 hits on the afternoon, compared to eight for their hosts.
North Surry has now claimed consecutive Major Larry John Bauguess, Jr. Memorial Baseball Game wins. Last year’s victory was North Surry’s first, which snapped a four-game winning steak of the hosts. Wilkes Central has claimed six overall out of the nine currently. The only year that a team other than Wilkes Central or North Surry won, the game was an exhibition involving college and pro players.
North Surry improved to 10-7 overall and will continue conference play on Tuesday at South Stokes. Wilkes Central, the co-leader in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Conference, dropped to 12-6 on the season.