PILOT MOUNTAIN — The word berserk is derived from the Old Norse “berserkr,” and was used to describe a Norse warrior that fought intensely and with an unrivaled ferocity.
On Monday night it wasn’t the Vikings going berserk, it was the East Surry Cardinals. The Cards improved to 13-1 with a 9-1 win over the North Wilkes Vikings.
Monday’s game is the first of four in six days for East Surry. Coach Chad Freeman has an array of pitchers at his disposal and has to space them out during the week.
Jefferson Boaz earned the win in Monday’s game by pitching the first four innings. Boaz had four strikeouts, two walks, and allowed zero hits. Eli Bullington came in for the final three innings and posted six strikeouts, one hit allowed, and one run allowed.
It didn’t take long for the home team to get on the scoreboard. AJ Wilson took the plate in the bottom of the first with the first two Cardinal batters having flied out. Wilson slammed the ball against the left field fence and got a double for his troubles.
Kain Kiser joined Wilson on base after hitting a grounder to third that was bobbled by the fielder. Wilson then scored on an RBI single from Nick Shoffner.
It looked like Cameron Whitaker had notched the second RBI of the day when he sent a line drive screaming toward left field. However, the shortstop made an impressive stop to end the inning.
The Cards were back in scoring position in the bottom of the second. Up first was Trevor Hauser, who made it to second after his grounder was thrown well over the first baseman’s glove.
Boaz then took Hauser’s spot on second base by hitting an RBI double to put East up 2-0. Boaz stayed on base as the next two batters flied out, but made it home on an RBI from Garrett Willoughby.
Boaz kept his momentum going on the mound in the top of the third with a three-up, three-down performance. Boaz had a no-hitter before leaving the mound after the fourth inning.
Wilson once again made his way around the bases in the bottom of the third. After his initial single, Wilson stole both second and third while Kiser was at bat. A wild pitch not only sent Kiser to first base, it allowed Wilson to run home and put East up 4-0.
Not to be outdone, Whitaker nearly hit the ball to North Wilkes to earn a triple shortly before the end of the inning.
The top of the fourth inning arrived and the Vikings’ hitting troubles continued. The Cardinal defense kept a goose egg in the hit column while Boaz delivered his fourth strikeout to send the Vikings packing after just three batters.
Boaz and Colby Guy got on base to start the bottom of the fourth. John Marion, who was robbed of two big hits in the outfield earlier in the game, scored both of his teammates on a two-RBI triple to put East up 6-0.
Marion himself scored off an RBI single from Willoughby. Wilson was then walked to move Zach Robertson, the runner who replaced Willoughby, to second.
Robertson got out at third on a fielder’s choice out by Kiser. Both Kiser and Gage Black, who took the place of Wilson, advanced a base when first base was overthrown and the ball left the field of play.
An RBI grounder from Shoffner scored Black, but also resulted in the second out. Kiser was tagged out at second on a fielder’s choice. Whitaker scored Shoffner on an RBI single to put East Surry up 9-0.
Bullington took the mound in the top of the fifth. North Wilkes’ Sammy Johnson scored the only run of the night for the Vikings in the inning. Johnson scored when a grounder by Jackson Teague was overthrown at first base.
East Surry only needed two runs to win via mercy rule. But due to a lineup reshuffle, the Cards only managed one hit in the fifth and sixth innings.
Bullington maintained the lead by picking up six strikeouts in the final three innings. Bullington struck out all three batters in the top of the sixth.
The Cardinals’ 9-1 win is the team’s seventh win of the season by at least six runs. East Surry has a chance to increase this number when it hosts South Stokes tonight.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith