Vikings slide past Elkin in 10-inning thriller
by Matthew Gorry
HAYS - The Buckin’ Elks let several chances slip through their fingers against winless North Wilkes Tuesday night in Hays.
Elkin blew two late leads as the Vikings stormed back and knocked off their 1A rivals 7-6 in 10 innings to pick up their first win of the season.
Sitting three outs from victory with a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Elkin gave the Vikings life with back-to-back walks to open the frame.
Head coach Steve Martin made a pitching change, inserting Bubba Bradley to close the door.
But after a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, North tied the game with a RBI groundout to third, sending the game to extra innings.
Despite just blowing the lead, the Elks came out swinging in the eighth.
Daniel Brinegar gave Elkin a 4-3 lead when he ripped a run-scoring single past a diving shortstop before Logan Newman added a sac fly to deep left.
Seth Haynes followed with another RBI single that sailed over the out-stretch glove of a leaping second baseman as the Elks snagged momentum and lead 6-3.
But a scrappy North side battled back once again.
After the leadoff batter reached on an error, Bradley got two quick outs. But a second miscue in the field allowed the Vikings to trim the lead down to 6-4.
Two batters later, Chase Greene blooped a single down the left-field line that miraculous dropped between three diving Elks to tie the game again at 6-6.
After two more scoreless innings, North finally threatened in the home-half of the 10th inning.
The Vikings led off the frame with an infield single to second before Brinegar misplayed a slow roller that landed just in front of the plate that allowed both runners to reach base safely. Another sac bunt moved both runners in scoring position.
Matthew Richardson then laid down a suicide squeeze that Bradley bobbled on the mound allowing the game-winning run to slide home, giving the Vikings a wild 7-6 victory.
Elkin dropped to 3-5 in Mountain Valley Conference play at the halfway point of the season, essentially cancelling out the huge 17-1 win over 1A-leading West Wilkes last week in the race for the top spot.
The Elks will look to bounce back tonight against Alleghany in Sparta.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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