BOONVILLE - After two hard-luck loses to kick off the season, Starmount turned in its best performance of the year Friday night.
The Rams put runs on the board in four-straight innings to breeze past Ashe County 12-2 in six innings to pick up their first victory.
“It was a good win. We finally put a whole game together,” head coach Mike McCann said. “We came out and did some good things in those two loses we had against East Surry and West Wilkes, but we had a lull in there. We’ve been focusing on that a lot this week, and the kids did a good job at executing tonight.
“We did what we had to do tonight and I’m proud of them,” he added.
Ashe jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first and held Starmount scoreless over the first two frames.
But the Rams found their stroke in the third, plating four runs to take a 4-1 advantage and never looked back. Starmount followed with three more runs in the fourth to build a 7-1 edge.
After the Huskies tacked on another run in the top half of the fifth, Hunter Myers recorded one of this two RBIs in the game, plating Luke Shore to pushed the lead out to 8-2.
In the sixth, Zack Worley drew a two-out walk to kick off the game-winning charge.
Shore followed with a bloop single to right on a hit-and-run. After Samuel Stone drew a walk to load the bases, Worley came home on a pass ball to push the lead to 9-2.
Myers and Sawyer Davis drew back-to-back walks to plate another run before Jeremy Whitaker roped a RBI single up the middle for the walk-off hit to give Starmount the 10-run mercy rule victory.
The Rams racked up 13 hits on the night, led by Myers’ three hits and two RBIs. Stone added two hits and three runs, while sophomore Zach Freed recorded a run-scoring hit.
“We were able to execute tonight when we had to,” McCann said. “We came through when we had runners on base and did what we needed to do to advance them. That was the biggest thing that we’ve worked on - knowing the situation and knowing what they had to do at the plate; timely execution. They did a real good job at that.”
Tanner Mathis picked up the win on the mound with five solid innings allowing just two hits and two runs (one earned). Whitaker closed the door in the sixth, recording two strikeouts.
“Tanner did a great job on the mound,” McCann said. “He threw five innings, but it was just cold tonight. He couldn’t get limber and get as much motion he wants with the wind blowing like it was. He did a really good job at pounding the zone.”
Starmount returns to action Tuesday night against crosstown rival Elkin in the Battle of the Bridge.
“They’re a scrappy little ballclub. They’re solid up the middle and behind the plate. It’s going to be like every game this season where you’re going to have to play every night and the one’s that execute are the one’s that are going to win. I know that’s the way baseball is but there is just so much parity in our conference right now,” McCann added.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.