MORAVIAN FALLS — A stellar pitching outing from Ethan Edwards, coupled with a just as stellar defense, catapulted North Surry to the Foothills 2A Conference baseball tournament finals on Wednesday night.
With their 3-0 win over Forbush at Major Larry J. Bauguess Jr. Memorial Field on the campus of Wilkes Central High School, the Greyhounds rebounded from a pair of regular-season losses to the Falcons.
And with West Wilkes’ 10-1 defeat to East Surry earlier in the night, No. 3 North Surry now owns the tiebreaker over the Blackhawks as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs approach.
Edwards went the distance on the mound as he allowed nine hits and four strikeouts. The senior right-hander did not walk a batter in the shutout performance.
The No. 2 Falcons (16-10) had opportunities to score early on.
Down 2-0 in the third inning after an RBI double from Myles Draughn RBI single, the Greyhounds attempted to stretch the lead to three as Brodie Robertson headed for home.
That’s when Forbush pulled off a well-executed relay throw as center field Dawson Graham made a throw from deep in the outfield to shortstop Logan Beane.
The senior made a throw right on the money to catcher Chase Smitherman, who tagged out Robertson for the first out in the inning.
Spencer Hodges then struck out the next two Greyhounds to end the threat.
Beane led off the bottom of the third with a single but was caught trying to steal second base.
After a Cannon Doub single, Edwards struck out Thomas Conrad and then Smitherman grounded out to Corbin Dollyhigh at third base to end the inning.
North Surry tacked on another run off the bat from Draughn, this time with an RBI double to make it 3-0. The sophomore first baseman was one of three Greyhounds to finish with two hits.
After a James McCreary single advanced a Greyhound courtesy runner to third base, Forbush brought in Conrad to relieve Hodges with two runners in scoring position.
Conrad struck out Cameron Taylor to prevent further damage.
Edwards ran into a two-out jam after a pitch hit Cannon Doub and Conrad singled. But the senior worked out of the jam when Smitherman grounded out to Jake Beamer at second base.
Hodges, who had best the Greyhounds back on March 29, took the loss as the senior allowed eight hits, three runs with three walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Conrad, who along with Gavin Maines went 2-for-3 at the plate, was strong in relief as the sophomore struck out three and allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
In addition to Draughn, Kolby Watson and McCreary each finished with two hits for North Surry, which lost 9-4 to East Surry in the tournament finals on Thursday night.
Despite the loss, Forbush still qualified for the North Carolina High School Athletic Associaion 2A playoffs. The Falcons, who earned the No. 23 seed, traveled to No. 10 East Davidson on Tuesday night. The winner will face No. 7 Lincoln Charter or No. 26 Surry Central in the second round.
Note: Forbush was without the services of head coach Jack Moss on Wednesday. Assistant coach Will Bell served as head coach.
A balanced attack the plate powered Forbush into the tournament semifinals with a 10-4 win over North Wilkes last Monday night in East Bend.
The Falcons piled up eight runs in the first three innings and finished with 13 hits in the game.
Nine different Forbush players registered at least one hit with Dawson Graham going 3-for-4 at the plate while Nick Weisner and Holden Moxley finished with two hits apiece.
Logan Beane, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning, finished 1-for-4.
The trio of Will Summers, Holden Moxley and Jacob Boyles combined to allow just two hits. Summers picked up the win.