KING — Stokes County Post 290 baseball team picked up their second win of the season against Kernersville on Friday night at West Stokes High School. Although based in Stokes County, the team features 21 players from West Stokes, North Stokes, East Surry, Surry Central and Mount Airy high schools this year.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” said coach Thomas Newsome. “Our pitcher, Phillip Pollard set the tone for us on the mound. Danny Kimel’s homerun in the first inning energized our bats and I felt we were locked in from that moment on.”
Kernersville took an early lead minutes into the game on a solo home run by Cameron Watts with no one on and two outs. Stokes bounced back in the bottom half with a three run homerun by Kimel. Jacob Mabe singled with one out and Seth Saunders walked setting up Kimel’s long ball for the early 3-1 advantage.
After a scoreless second inning for both teams, Stokes County tallied four runs in the bottom of the third stanza. Logan Griffith singled, Mabe walked and then both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. Saunders reached first on a base hit plating both Griffith and Mabe. Pinch runner Ethan Ball stole third and then Pollard reached on a hit. AJ Moran walked loading the bases for incoming West Stokes’ freshman Ben Smitherman. Smitherman doubled scoring Ball and Pollard for the 7-1 lead.
The left handed Pollard continued his dominance on the mound with three more strikeouts in the top of the fourth inning, while the bats remained hot in the bottom half for the home team.
Griffith again led the inning and reached on an error by the left fielder. Mabe received another free pass and both runners moved up a base on a balk. Kimel walked loading the bases and pinch hitter Zach Poole hit a sacrifice fly to leftfield pushing Griffith across home plate. Moran walked loading the bases again for Brandon Carter from East Surry. After a pitching change, Carter roped a line drive past third base plating Mabe and Kimel. Smitherman reached on an error scoring Moran and then Carter tallied the last run of the game on a wild pitch for a Stokes 12-1 edge.
Kernersville tried to extend the game in the fifth inning with one run on a walk and two hits, but Poole shut the door by forcing a ground out to end the game.
“I loved the chatter on the bench,” Newsome said. “The kids were talking and supporting each other through the whole game. It’s going to be a fun year.”
Kimel led the Stokes team with a homerun and three RBI. Griffith, Mabe, Saunders, Carter, and Smitherman all contributed a hit and multiple runs driven in. Pollard finished with nine strikeouts and three hits over four innings pitched.
Stokes is 2-0 on the season and will start conference play next week with Mount Tabor on Tuesday at West Stokes. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.