Kendal Tucker’s two-run home run, along with late-game effective pitching command, both worked in North Surry’s favor on Wednesday night, but the Greyhounds ultimately fell to 4A Ronald Reagan 4-2.
The Hounds held an early 2-0 lead when Tucker homered in the first inning and drove in Mackenzie Cooke ahead of him, but the Raiders had the edge for the rest of the evening.
After Chase Swartz tossed a scoreless top of the first for the Hounds, Tucker came up and did some immediate damage.
Cooke was the first Greyhound to collect a base. On a 2-2 count, Tucker slugged his next pitch from Raider pitcher Alex Facer over the left-field fence. Tucker’s homer gave the Hounds the first lead of the game.
The early lead may have seemed promising against a then 7-2 Central Piedmont 4A squad, but the first inning would be the only frame that the home squad would tack on any runs. Facer retired the next two Hounds after Tucker’s trip around the bases.
Reagan’s Garrett Saylor, in the five-hole, responded to the Greyhound production and cracked a solo home run to place the Raiders on the scoreboard in their half of the second. The Hounds did not allow another visitor to collect anything past first base after the early damage from Saylor.
Calvin Johnson reached base in the bottom of the second for the Hounds and was transferred to second on a bunt from Nick Badgett. But the Hounds would conclude the second inning with a ground-out and a punch-out.
Both squads held one another scoreless in the third inning.The Raiders left two men on base, one in scoring position, while Shane Slate reached second base with one out in the bottom half of the inning but was also stranded.
In the Reagan fourth, Saylor snagged two bases with his drive to centerfield, but Swartz retired the next Raider swinging. Then Rusty Nicholson’s triple drove Saylor in and tied the game. With Nicholson on third, Noah Lawson picked a pitch to drop right in front of Mason Gwyn. Lawson’s pop, which was barely into the outfield grass, plated another Raider run. A punch-out would sit Tyler Johnson down and end the Raider damage in the fourth, leaving one on base, but a 3-2 Reagan lead.
Will Sprinkle relieved Facer on the Hill for Reagan and retired the first two Hounds he faced. Badgett stepped up to the plate with two outs and singled, but was left at first after Oakley grounded to short.
The opposition held a slim lead as the game entered the fifth inning. The Hounds sent Chase Goodson out to the hill, and shut down the Raiders in the fifth inning. North Surry did not place any of their men on base in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to Reagan pitcher Avery Chunn’s command on the mound.
In the sixth, ninth-place hitter Mark Greene sent a full-count ball to right centerfield, and drove in Noah Lawson with a triple for a 4-2 Reagan led.
Tucker highlighted the North Surry sixth with a single, but a strikeout and groundout would ultimately leave him there. Will Sprinkle’s just shy-of-fence double positioned runners on second and third for Reagan to open up the seventh inning. Tucker juggled Tristan Willard’s pop to third base, and even with a delayed throw, still sat him down before another Raider could reach. Saylor was intentionally walked and loaded the bases with only one out. Goodson then retired the next two visitors who stepped up to the plate.
Saylor went in to pitch in hopes of closing out the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Saylor walked Badgett, the first Hound he faced. Badgett would later reach second by way of a wild pitch, and moved to third on Oakley’s chopper, but a strikeout and a pop-up ended the game. Ronald Reagan’s ten hits, in relation to North Surry’s four, earned a 4-2 non-conference win as they improved to an overall 8-2 mark.
North Surry’s next two contests will be against West Stokes, the first on Tuesday in King, to open up Western Piedmont Athletic Conference play, and the next, three days later at home with the Greyhounds as hosts.