Cardinals score early, often to take MVAC win

By Kristian Russell -
Bryce Vestal had two home runs for the Cardinals on Monday night. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune

RONDA — The East Wilkes Cardinals wasted no opportunities on Monday night, as they came out swinging to take a conference win over Ashe County. The Cardinals put down hit after hit to take an 11-1 win.

The bottom of the first inning saw East Wilkes put down five runs. Sean Sidden started things off for the Cardinals with a hard ground ball hit to short stop for a single. Ben Longbottom was able to step up to the plate and advance the runner as he singled to left field. Longbottom and Sidden were able to steal second and third base. With runners on second and third, Bryce Vestal was able to come up to the plate and hammer the ball into right field. Sidden and Longbottom were brought across the plate to give East Wilkes a 2-0 lead.

The bats kept going for East Wilkes as Brandon Church singled to center field and Vestal made his way home. With one out on the board, East Wilkes brought another run in as Deven Couch singled to left field and Church scored. The final run of the inning came as Couch stole home and the Cardinals had a 5-0 lead after one inning.

In the bottom of the second inning, Vestal was able to bring in additional runs for the Cardinals. On a 2-0 count, Vestal sent the ball flying over the center field fence for a two-run homer. The home run gave East Wilkes a 7-0 lead over Ashe County.

The Huskies were able to knock in a run in the third inning, which made the score 7-1. East Wilkes was able to answer back to Ashe County’s run in the bottom of the third as Couch stole home on a wild Ashe County pitch.

Vestal was able to make the most of his time in the batter’s box as he hammered another home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. On a 1-0 count, Vestal was able to put the ball over the left-center field fence to bring in two more runs. East Wilkes had a 10-1 lead heading into the fifth inning.

The final run of the night came off of a single by Church, as he hit a hard ball into left field to bring Sidden across the plate. The Cardinals were able to put the ten0run rule into effect as they took an 11-1 win over Ashe County.

With the win, the Cardinals move to 4-5 overall, and 2-1 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference. East Wilkes will host Forbush on Thursday night in Ronda.

Bryce Vestal had two home runs for the Cardinals on Monday night. Vestal had two home runs for the Cardinals on Monday night. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

By Kristian Russell