The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

April 14, 2014

Stanly County Baseball Notebook

North Stanly hands Albemarle first YVC West loss; South Stanly sweeps Union Academy; West Stanly shuts out Forest Hills

Sunday, April 13, 2014 — In high school baseball games this week, conference play was the focus as the teams of Stanly County faced key conference challenges.

Friday’s Games

West Stanly 7, Forest Hills 0

The Colts took an early lead and used solid defense and pitching to stay a game behind Mount Pleasant for first place in the RRC standings with a home win.

Hunter Martin pitched six innings to earn the win for West (10-3, 5-1 RRC). Will Smith pitched a perfect seventh inning in relief of Martin, striking out two batters.

West led 1-0 after one inning on Tyler Huneycutt’s RBI single, then the Colts broke the game open in the second with six runs. Zac Brown drove in two runs with a single, Will Smith had an RBI triple and Huneycutt added an RBI double.

Brown added an RBI bases-loaded walk in the third for the game’s final run.

“That’s been the makeup of our team,” West head coach Chad Yow said.

“Solid pitching, and when we have solid defense behind the pitchers, the bats tend to come around.”

Yow also talked about facing Mount Pleasant in two games this week.

“We fully expect...that will be for the conference championship,” Yow said.

“West Stanly has had (a conference title) in a few years and we want to get back on track. Mount Pleasant is a strong team. We are confident in our pitching and our timely hitting.”

FH    000    000    0    0    3    1

WS    151    000    x    7    9    0

WP – Hunter Martin (6 IP,  0 R, 3 hits, 0 BB, 7 K).

LP – Brandon Trull (1.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 hits, 1 BB, 1 K).

Leading Hitters: FH – Kieran Davis 1-1; Hunter Tarlton 1-2; Dustin Wilson 1-2.  WS – Tyler Huneycutt 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Zac Brown 1-2, 3 RBI; Will Smith 1-4, 3B; Damon Smith 1-2, RBI.

South Stanly 10-4, Union Academy 0-0

The Rebel Bulls moved into a tie for first place in the Yadkin Valley Conference West standings by sweeping a doubleheader on Friday with the Cardinals.

UA    000    00        0    1    0

SS    320    05        10    11    0

WP – Easton Horton (5 IP, 0 R, 1 hit, 2 BB, 11 K).

Leading Hitters: SS – Luke Burris 2-3, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI; Alex Poplin 2-4, RBI; Sawyer Lee 2-4; Eli Blake 2-3.

UA    000    000    0    0    3    1    

SS    020    002    x    4    8    2

WP – Dylan Starnes (6 IP, 0 R, 2 hits, 5 K)

Leading Hitters: SS – Eli Blake 2-3, RBI; Maxton Horton 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Alex Poplin 1-3, RBI.

Albemarle 3, Gray Stone 1

Albemarle pitcher Bryan Blanton struck out 14 Gray Stone batters and earned the win as the Bulldogs stayed atop the YVC West standings with a 3-1 home win over the Knights.

Dillon Guenther led the Bulldogs (10-3, 5-1 YVC West) with two doubles and an RBI while Mikey Polk was 2-for-2 with a double.

The loss drops the Knights to 1-12 overall and 1-6 in the YVC West.

GS    000    000    1    1    3    1

A    110    010    x    3    6    2

WP – Bryan Blanton (7 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 5 BB, 14 K)

Hitters: A – Dillon Guenther 2-3, 2 2B, RBI; Mikey Polk 2-2, 2B; Bryan Blanton 1-3; Zack Brafford 1-3.

North Stanly 11, Queen’s Grant 0

The Comets got a big power boost from the team’s starting catcher in an 11-0 six-inning victory that keeps North Stanly one game behind Albemarle and South Stanly for first place in the Yadkin Valley Conference West standings.

Matt Lambert pitched six scoreless innings and earned the win for North Stanly (9-4, 4-2 YVC West), striking out eight batters to just one walk.

Led by catcher Zac Almond’s two home runs and four RBIs, the Comets belted out 13 hits in the game. Almond’s second home run, a two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth, ended the game.

QG    000    000        0    3    0

NS    212    042        11    13    0

WP – Matt Lambert (6 IP, 0 R, 3 hits, 1 BB, 8 K).

Leading Hitters: NS – Zac Almond 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI; Tyler Burris 2-3, 2 RBI; Matt Lambert 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Luke Lowder 2-3, RBI; Landon Mullis 2-3.

Thursday’s Game

North Stanly 3, Albemarle 1

Two errors led to three of the four runs scored on Thursday night when the host Comets handed Albemarle its first loss in the new Yadkin Valley Conference West by a score of 3-1.

Tyler Burris went the distance for the Comets, pitching around four hits and four walks to allow no earned runs in the complete-game win. Burris improved his pitching record this season to 3-0 with Thursday’s win.

Justin Crump (3-2) was solid on the mound for Albemarle in the loss, allowing one earned run over six innings with no walks and five strikeouts.

The Comets took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Noah Crisco singled to left and Will Moore delivered a bunt single that went over the head of the Albemarle first baseman. North catcher Zac Almond then sent a hard ground ball through the legs of the Bulldogs’ shortstop, scoring Crisco and Moore.

Albemarle’s run came in the top of the third inning when Ross Plyler and Mikey Polk both drew walks, then Plyler scored when Burris threw to third on a ground ball and the ball sailed down the left field line. Plyler scored, but Moore threw a strike to Almond at the plate to get Polk out and preserve the Comets’ lead.

North’s defense turned two double plays in the first four innings, including a diving grab on a bunt by first baseman Greyson Lunsford, who doubled up the runner to end the top of the second.

In the top of the sixth, Albemarle’s Zac Brafford doubled to left and moved over to third on a groundout. The Bulldogs then tried a squeeze play but the batter missed the pitch. Almond ran down Brafford and tagged him out.

The Comets added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Crisco laid a down a bunt single and moved to third on a Moore single. Crisco then scored on a wild pitch for the final run of the game.

A    001    000    0    1    4    2

NS    200    001    0    3    5    1

WP – Tyler Burris (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 hits, 4 BB, 4 K)

LP – Justin Crump (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, 0 BB, 5 K)

Hitters: A – Zac Brafford 1-3; Holden Davis 1-3; Hunter Davis 1-3; Justin Crump 1-3. NS – Noah Crisco 2-3, Will Moore 2-3; Matt Lambert 1-3.

Wednesday’s Game

South Stanly 2, Gray Stone 1

The Rebel Bulls returned to Yadkin Valley Conference West play on Wednesday night making up Tuesday’s rainout with Gray Stone.

Four pitchers combined for a one-run win for South Stanly, moving the Bulls to 6-8 overall and 3-1 in the YVC West. Dylan Starnes earned the win in relief for  South. Easton Horton started for the Bulls, and along with Starnes, Alex Poplin and Ryan Coley, combined for 10 strikeouts and four hits allowed with no earned runs.

Luke Burris led South at the plate with two hits while Trey Mabry and Maxton Horton each added hits.

SS    001    001    0    2    4    1

GS    000    000    1    1    4    3

WP – Dylan Starnes (2 IP, 0 R, 0 hits, 1 BB, 3 K)

Leading Hitters: SS – Luke Burris 2-3; Trey Mabry 1-3, R; Maxton Horton 1-3.

To submit story ideas, contact Charles Curcio at (704) 982-2121, ext. 26, or email

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