Bears tame Bulls in playoff opener

Staff Report

NORWOOD — Tuesday’s opening round of the state playoffs was a Surry vs. Stanly challenge, and Surry went 2-for-2.

While Mount Airy’s tennis team was busy ending North Stanly’s unbeaten season in emphatic fashion, the Granite Bears’ baseball team was playing down the road at South Stanly, and came from behind to beat the Rowdy Rebel Bulls 8-6 for a trip to the second round.

Mount Airy (11-9 overall) limped into the playoffs on a three-game skid, but held South Stanly, the third-place team in the Yadkin Valley Conference, scoreless over the final three innings of the game to come back from a 6-4 deficit. The Bears scored one run in the fifth inning and three in the seventh to regain the lead, and then held the Bulls in the last half of the inning for the win.

South Stanly (14-11) had taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but Mount Airy scored four times in the top of the third to take the lead for the first time. The Bulls answered with two in their half of the third, and the lead changed hands for the second time. Another South Stanly run in the fourth put the Bears down by two.

The Bears collected just five hits in the game, and four of those were singles. However, Mount Airy was able to take advantage of wildness by the Bulls’ pitchers and draw six walks. The Bears used four different pitchers during the course of the game, Cooper Nester, Cory Dutton, Alex Hall and Mason Corn, who combined to limit the Bulls to just six hits.

Mount Airy advances to a second-round road game at Smoky Mountain Conference champion Murphy (22-0) on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs are the state’s second-ranked 1A team according to MaxPreps, one spot behind East Surry.

Staff Report