BASEBALL: Wolverines earn split at West Wilkes BEST event

Published 1:27 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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Polk County made its annual trip to West Wilkes on Saturday for the Blackhawks’ annual BEST event and split a pair of games.

The Wolverines defeated the host Blackhawks 5-4 after falling 11-8 to North Surry in their opening game of the BEST (Baseball Early Season Test).

Polk sophomore Gunnar Alm homered in each game, pushing his season total to six. That total currently leads all North Carolina batters per MaxPreps statistics.

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Polk County improved to 5-2 with the day’s split.

Polk County 5, West Wilkes 4: The Wolverines scored two runs in the first inning and never trailed, though West Wilkes made it interesting late.

Polk took its early lead as Alm walked, moved to third with two outs and scored on Karson Scruggs’ base hit. Avrey Hensley followed with another single, Mason Beiler walked and Alex Perry singled to make it 2-0.

Alm’s homer in the second inning made it 3-0. West Wilkes rallied to within 3-2 before the Wolverines answered with two runs in the fourth.

Mark Jarrett drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Noah Harden’s one-out single scored Jarrett, with Harden moving to second on the play. Scruggs then laced a two-out single to put Polk up 5-2.

The Blackhawks pushed across two runs in the fifth and moved the tying run to third, but Polk got the final out of the inning, then kept West Wilkes at bay to secure the win.

Scruggs finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, with Alm going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Harden, Hensley and Perry added base hits.

Perry earned the win, pitching three innings and allowing two runs on three hits. Lawson Carter pitched the final four innings and gave up two runs on three hits, striking out four.

North Surry 11, Polk County 8: North Surry took advantage of nine Polk County walks to claim the win in the Wolverines’ first game of the day.

The Wolverines trailed 4-1 after two innings, but scored three runs in the third to tie the game. Carter was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a Scruggs single. Hensley singled and Beiler and Perry drew back-to-back walks to make it 4-3, with a North Surry error allowing the tying run to score.

The Greyhounds took a 5-4 lead before Carter belted a two-run homer in the fourth to put Polk up 6-5. North responded with a three-run fourth to take an 8-6 edge, and added three runs in the fifth to go up 11-6.

Alm’s leadoff homer in the sixth made it 11-7, and Polk added a run in the seventh as Beiler drew a leadoff walk, Edwards garnered a walk and Jarrett singled to drive in Beiler. Polk loaded the bases with one out, but North Surry’s Carson notched back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.

Alm, Harden and Carter each had two hits, with Scruggs, Hensley and Jarrett each adding one.

Edwards pitched three innings, giving up one earned run on three hits. Scruggs took the loss in relief, giving up six runs, five earned, on five hits in three innings of work.

Polk County is set to return to Mountain Foothills 7 Conference play on Tuesday, traveling to Patton.