Will Altemueller threw his second straight shutout and Drew Shinkle drove in four runs as Elkin cruised to first-round 1A West win over visiting South Stanly, 10-0 in five innings, Tuesday night.
About the only thing that wasn’t working for the Buckin’ Elks was the scoreboard. Shinkle, Jeremy Pierce, Aaron Sturdivant, and Seth Haynes all had two hits as Elkin totalled 12 for the game.
“The bottom of the lineup hit and that made a big difference,” Elkin Coach Steve Martin said, mentioning Sturdivant and Pierce specifically.
The bottom of the order got it going in the bottom off the second inning. With no score and two outs, Eli Brown, the No. 7 hitter, reached on an error; Sturdivant singled; and Pierce singled in Brown. Haynes then scored Sturdivant and Pierce with a two-run triple.
Fittingly, the bottom of the order was prominent in the clinching rally. After Bubba Bradley homered, Altemueller, hitting sixth, walked and moved to second on a bunt by Brown. Sturdivant and Pierce singled before Haynes walked. Shinkle then cleaned up the bases with a three-run double.
Up 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth, the game was stopped by the 10-run rule.
Altemueller struck out 11, including five in a row over the fourth and fifth innings. The sophomore allowed two hits and walked one.
Altemueller threw 62 pitches. “That’s very important,” Martin said, indicating Altemueller will be at least available to pitch as a reliever in a second-round game.
The runs were important, Martin said. “It helps the pitchers,” he said. “It makes a big difference.
“Will was just throwing strikes. He’s hard to handle when he’s on.”
“I hit the corners well,” Altemueller said. “We started to hit the ball and I’ve got a defense behind me.
“I know I can give up two runs now and it will still be all right.”
Elkin, now 8-15, has averaged 8.2 runs per game over the last 10 games. They are 6-4 in those game. They averaged less than 3.4 runs per game in their first 13 games. They lost 11 of those 13 games.
South Stanly finishes its season 12-14.
SS 000 00 — 0 2 2
E 033 04 — 10 12 0
SS: Dylan Staines, Easton Horton (3) and Vance Deese. E: Will Altemueller and Daniel Brinegar. 2B: Drew Shinkle (E) 2, Jeremy Pierce. 3B: Seth Haynes (E). HR: Bubba Bradley (E).
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.