PILOT MOUNTAIN — “Strikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkke three!” echoed throughout Barry Hall Field a number of times in Friday’s game between East Surry and North Stokes.
Everything seemed to click for the Cardinals in a dominant 10-1 performance that secured the top spot in the Northwest 1A Conference. Kain Kiser didn’t give the Vikings much of a chance, collecting 16 strikeouts and allowing just two hits and zero walks in East Surry’s win.
The first of North Stokes’ (14-7, 3-3) three players to get on base came at the onset of the first inning. Jake Craddock made it to first base due to an East Surry error. Craddock then stole second and made his way back home when the ball was overthrown at second.
The North Stokes highlight reel ended shortly after Craddock’s run. Kiser ended the Vikings hopes of extending the lead by striking out the side.
East Surry (18-1, 6-0) was held to just one hit in the bottom of the first, but was able to tie the game on an RBI double from Tyler Chilton. Chilton’s hit scored the recently walked Nick Shoffner.
Craddock became the second Viking to get on base with a triple in the top of the third. The East Surry defense kept the game tied by not allowing Craddock to advance home in the inning.
Colby Guy took the first pitch of the bottom of the third and turned it into a single. He was joined by John Marion after four balls. A sacrifice by AJ Wilson advanced both runners.
A wild pitch by Layton Helms allowed Guy to cross home plate while Kiser was batting. Two pitches later, Marion scored the same way to give East Surry a 3-1 lead.
Isaiah East became the first Viking not named Jake Craddock to get on base with a single in the top of the fourth. Two strikeouts and a groundout later, East was left on base and the game was officially taken over by the Cardinals.
Not only would East Surry score seven more runs in the game, but Kiser struck out eight of the next nine batters, with the only exception being a fly-out by Helms in the top of the sixth.
The top of the fifth signified the beginning of the end. Marion and Garrett Willoughby each hit singles and then scored off a two-RBI double from Wilson. Wilson crossed the plate next on a grounder from Kiser, increasing the lead to 6-1.
Cameron Whitaker made his way around the bases after being hit by a pitch. Whitaker scored off an RBI single from Nick Shoffner.
Joey Bullins took Helms’ place on the mound and immediately gave up an RBI single to Chilton. Shoffner crossed the plate and put East Surry ahead 8-1.
The Cardinals went back on the offensive in the bottom of the sixth. The bases were loaded when Bullins walked Guy, Marion, and Willoughby.
Wilson and Kiser each hit a sacrifice fly that allowed a runner to score after tagging up. This put the Cards up 10-1 and set them up for their 12th consecutive win.
East Surry’s regular season will end next week, but not after three games in four days. The Cards play Bishop McGuinness twice and at East Wilkes to end the season.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith