Polk notches split in West Wilkes tourney 

Published 11:27 pm Monday, March 4, 2019

Polk County’s baseball team picked up its first win of the season Saturday and nearly earned a second in the Blackhawk B.E.S.T. tournament at West Wilkes High School. 

The Wolverines handed Ashe County an 8-3 setback before falling 3-2 in nine innings to West Iredell. 

Polk County (1-2) won its tourney opener behind a strong pitching performance by Clark Phipps. The senior allowed two hits in five and two-thirds inning of work, striking out seven and allowing one unearned run. Kyler Scruggs pitched the final inning and a third, allowing two unearned runs and striking out two. 

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Polk County scored three runs in the top of the first to take command. Evan Rimer singled to open the game, then moved to second on an error on a Grayson Jones grounder. Rimer then stole third and scored on a throwing error, with Jones moving to second. 

After Nick Capozzi drew a walk, Jones stole third and also scored on an error. One out later, Capozzi stole third, and scored on Sedrick Pickett’s sacrifice fly to center. 

Polk extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth as Elijah Sutton singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Zeke Herrmann’s single to center. 

The Wolverines then made it 8-1 in the top of the fifth as Phipps lashed a two-run double and pinch runner Grant Wooten scored on a balk. 

Sutton finished 2-for-3 and Herrmann finished 2-for-2 to lead the Polk offense. Phipps was 1-for-3, with RimerCapozzi and Jordan Bishop adding a hit each. 

Polk County finished with 11 stolen bases. 

The Wolverines also scored first in their second game, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Rimer walked to open the inning, then stole second. One out later, an error on Capozzi’s grounder allowed Rimer to score, and Jones delivered an RBI single with two outs to make it 2-0. 

West Iredell tied the game with two runs in the fourth, then pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth to take the win. 

Pickett, Jones and Bishop each had two hits for the Wolverines. 

Avery Edwards pitched the first four innings, striking out six and giving up three hits, with Capozzi pitching four innings of scoreless relief. Austin Geagley pitched two-thirds of an inning and took the loss. 

Polk County will open Western Highlands Conference action in its next game, traveling to Owen on Friday. 

– Submitted by PolkSports.com