Hawks freeze Cardinals, 3-0

By Jim Fuller jfuller@civitasmedia.com

March 1, 2014

RONDA - Ben Slate’s two-run single proved to be all Forsyth needed as they took down East Wilkes, 3-0, in a high school baseball game Friday night.

The game was played in temperatures that dropped to 39 by the sixth inning. A damp breeze made it seem even colder.

“It’s cold, but it didn’t bother that team,” East Wilkes Coach Todd Welborn said pointing toward the Forsyth dugout.

Drew Cottrell worked six innings for Forsyth, a collection of home-educated students who play baseball under the Forsyth Home Educators banner.

“Drew did an outstanding job,” Forsyth Coach Drew Meeks said. “I got everything out of him I wanted and more.”

Cottrell threw 101 pitches, striking out six and walking one.

Chandler Bare and Levi Ray managed the only hits off Cottrell - both singles.

“We’re not making plays,” Welborn said. “We cannot make mistakes. We aren’t good enough.

“We struggle hitting the ball. That is not a strength. We’re not going to score many runs; so we can’t give up a lot of runs.”

“They’ve got a good team,” Meeks said of East Wilkes. “They’re going to make some noise.”

The Hawks scored twice in the second. Elijah Evans led off with a double that bounced to the centerfield fence. Evans then beat a throw to third on a grounder to short. Cottrell was safe at first on a fielder’s choice. Braxton Pritchard then drew a walk to load the bases. Slate followed with a crisp, two-run single.

Slate scored the other Forsyth run in the sixth. He singled; moved to second on a wild pitch; moved to third on a groundout; and scored on an error.

East Wilkes had runners at first and second in the third and again in the fifth, but could not score. Austin Pearson advanced to third after drawing a walk and being awarded third base following a wild pitch with two outs in the seventh, but was stranded when Bare’s hard liner to left was caught.

Zach West started for East Wilkes. West went four innings, allowing three hits, two runs (both earned), striking out four, and walking two. Will Jolly pitched the fifth and sixth innings, giving up one hit, one run (unearned), striking out two, and walking none. Jacob Chipman pitched a perfect seventh inning for the Cardinals.

East Wilkes, now 0-2, is at North Stokes today. They’ll return home to face North Surry Wednesday.

The Cardinals lost to North Iredell, 6-2, in their opener Thursday.

It was the season opener for Forsyth, now 1-0.

F 020 001 0 - 3 4 1

EW 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

Drew Cottrell, Addison Meeks (7) and John Hobson; Zach West, Will Jolly (5), Jacob Chipman (7) and Levi Ray. 2B - Elijah Evans (F).