Ryan Garlow and the Hickory High baseball team kept its unblemished record intact. The lefthander, who won his second game of the season, scattered four hits as the Red Tornadoes (6-0 overall; 1-0 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) blanked Watauga 3-0 Friday night at
LP Fran Stadium in Hickory. The Red Tornadoes, who are undefeated, have not given up a run this season in their first six games.
Garlow had a no-hitter through 4 1/2 innings before Ethan Critcher broke it up with a solid single to center field in the fifth inning.
Garlow struck out five and walked two. And his stellar effort only took 89 minutes. The Pioneers left five men on base, four in scoring position and they also hit into a double play. WHS (3-2; 1-1), which hasn't scored a run in eight consecutive innings, dating back to Thursday night's loss at North Davidson, have left 15 men on base and ten in scoring position in their last two games. They've also lost a base runners and hit into two double plays.
"Knock on wood, things are just going our way right now," said Hickory coach David Craft. "Ryan threw it well tonight, and when they threaten, he was able to shut them off."
The win also leaves Hickory just one-half game behind South Caldwell (5-0; 2-0) for first place in the NW3A/4A Conference standings. The Spartans blasted St. Stephens 11-0 Friday night. The Pioneers fall into a third-place tie with the Indians (4-2; 1-1), who have lost two in a row following a 4-0 start.
The Pioneers, mired in a two-game losing streak, had some chances to score, but came away empty. They left a runner on second base in the second inning; they left a runner at third in the fifth; they had runners at first and second with nobody out in the sixth before a double-play ball off the bat of Ryan Turner squelched that rally; and the Pioneers left runners at first and third in the seventh when Chase Richards grounded out to end the game.
WHS's frustration was exemplified in the fourth inning, when Turner's line drive glanced off Garlow, and ricocheted to shortstop Davis Hanvey, who threw out Turner at first base.
"And that was the turning point of the game," said WHS assistant coach Dustin Kerley. "Ryan hits the ball hard, and it turns into an out. They bloop one, and they score two runs. That's just the kind of night it was. That's baseball."
The Red Tornadoes scored all of their runs in the second inning. A lead-off single by Nick Guarino, a pair of walks and a hit batsman, gave the Red Tornadoes a 1-0 lead. Hanvey then blooped a single over Critcher, who was playing in at third, into short left field that drove in two more runs. And that was all Garlow needed to keep the Pioneers at bay.
Tyler Jones, who got the start, suffered the loss. The lefthander (1-1) gave up three earned runs on three hits with three walks, two strikeouts and he hit a batter in three innings of work. Matt Proffitt finished out in relief. The Pioneers as a staff gave up four walks and they hit three batters. The WHS staff that was so stingy to start the season (one earned run allowed in 19 innings) has coughed up nine walks and hit three batters in the last two games.
The Pioneers are scheduled to play Davie County in their home opener Monday, but there's a 40% chances of rain in the forecast. And according to WHS coach Pete Hardee, the teams may switch sights and play in Mocksville if the field is too wet. Our coverage begins at 6 p.m. Monday night on Oldies 100.7 FM.
NOTES: The WHS JV team (3-2; 2-0 NW3A/4A) defeated Hickory 7-3 Friday night. Jesse Illich got the win; Andy Gilliam finished up in relief. The Pioneers scored four times in the first inning, and three more times in the fourth. Illich had two hits, including a double; Carson Isaacs had two hits; Hunter Isaacs highlighted WHS's four-run first inning with a two-run single. Adam Greene and Matt Lambert each drove in a run in the frame.....The Red Tornadoes have beaten WHS four consecutive times dating back to the NW3A/4A Conference Tournament semifinals in 2010.
FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAMES
HICKORY 3, WATAUGA 0
SOUTH CALDWELL 11, ST. STEPHENS 0
FRED T. FOARD 5, ALEXANDER CENTRAL 4
WEST CALDWELL 9, HIBRITEN 8
ALEXANDER CENTRAL @ PROVIDENCE
SOUTH CALDWELL @ EAST BURKE
DAVIE COUNTY @ WATAUGA
SOUTH CALDWELL @ FRED T. FOARD
ST. STEPHENS @ HIBRITEN
ALEXANDER CENTRAL @ HICKORY
NORTHWESTERN 3A/4A CONFERNCE STANDINGS
SOUTH CALDWELL 2-0; 5-0
HICKORY 1-0; 6-0
WATAUGA 1-1; 3-2
ST. STEPHENS 1-1; 4-2
FRED T. FOARD 1-1; 3-2
HIBRITEN 0-1; 1-5
ALEXANDER CENTRAL 0-2; 1-3