SPARTA - The last time the Buckin’ Elks faced Alleghany and Austin Easter, the Trojan ace had a career day.
The junior fired a two-hit gem with 16 punch-outs to lead Alleghany past Elkin 2-1 in the season opener for both squad in early March.
But the rematch up the mountain in Sparta Monday night was a completely different story.
The Elks racked up 14 hits and touched up Easter and the Trojans for 13 runs, including a 10-spot in the seventh inning to cruise to the convincing 13-5 victory.
Leading the charge was senior slugger Jamey Cranford, who ripped three doubles apart of a 3-for-5 night with four RBIs and three runs. Seth Haynes added three singles, while Bubba Bradley had three RBIs on a pair of hits. Ted Shore finished with two RBIs with Daniel Brinegar, Logan Newman and Frank Miller rounding out the run-scoring hits on the night.
On the mound, Cranford was nearly as dominant as he was at the plate. The Elkin ace threw six shutdown innings, striking out a dozen and limiting Alleghany to four runs (one earned) on six hits.
The Elks were unable to carry the momentum over into Tuesday’s game against second place Forbush at home.
The Falcons scored in five of the seven innings to breeze to the 11-0 victory to complete the season sweep.
Elkin only managed three hits against big lefty Brad Dzeskewicz, who struck out seven in the complete-game win. Logan Newman led the offense with the only extra-base hit in the game, while Seth Creed and Houston Parks rounded out the hits.
With the split, the Elks improved to 7-8 on the season and tightened the race for the top 1A slot in the upcoming state playoffs. The Trojans (8-6) still hold on to the top spot despite the loss, but West Wilkes (7-7) and Elkin are knocking on the door with the regular season winding down.
The Elks host West tonight on Senior Night with a chance to move into second place in the league standings.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.