KING — Mount Airy and West Stokes took part in a pitchers’ duel with the Wildcats emerging with a 2-0 win.
The Cats’ Zach McGee pitched a shutout, and the Bears’ Sam Harris pitched a great game with just one harmful hit allowed.
Harris gave up just six hits in seven innings, said Coach Jon Cawley.
West Stokes has good sticks up and down the lineup, he said, and it happened to be the ninth hitter who came through with a two-run homer for the only scores of the game.
Harris threw a pitch a few inches off the outside corner to get the batter to chase a bad pitch.
Instead, Ricky Kirchenbauer leaned out and hit a long fly ball down the right-field line.
When the bat made contact, no one in the Bears’ dugout said “uh-oh,” Cawley recalled.
However, the fence is closer down the line, and the wind was blowing out to right. The ball continued to carry until the Cats were celebrating at the plate.
Harris pitched well, the coach said, “and our defense was the best it’s been all year.”
McGee pitched a great game against North Surry last week and did well in this game, too.
Still, Cawley was pleased that his team made solid contact several times.
“We hit it hard, but their outfield was up to the task,” he said.
The Bears hit a few liners to the outfield, but couldn’t find a hole.
“Wes Bumgartner hit a double off the left-field fence, but they always found a way to get us out,” he said. “We never got a runner to third base.”
Austin Taylor and Kenny Overfelt were the only other batters to get a hit.
Taylor got as far as second and was picked off.
Jon Cagle hit into a potential double play. He hustled down the first-base line and forced a hurried throw that went wide.
Cagle turned and ran for second, thinking the ball was out of play like it would be at Mount Airy or East Surry, the coach noted.
However, West Stokes has netting up in front of the dugout. The catcher was smartly following Cagle down the line, grabbed the ball as it bounced off the netting and threw Cagle out at second.
When a team is as aggressive as the Bears on the basepaths, there will be some hiccups, Cawley said.
The team has only made four blunders this season, but two came in the same game.
Still, the coach was encouraged by the way his team played against a team that perennially challenges for the conference title.
The Bears return home to host North Stokes on Tuesday.