League play in full swing for Spartans

Mar. 24, 2014 @ 11:37 PM

Kerr-Vance got a productive relief effort out of pitcher Daniel Wilkerson on Monday, but it wasn’t enough in a 9-3 loss to Grace Christian of Raleigh.

Wilkerson struck out 11 in 5.1 innings of work. The sophomore right-hander sat down his first and only batter of the second inning to end the frame.

Wilkerson came on for southpaw Damon Stevenson after four errors contributed to the Spartans’ 6-3 deficit.

“Too many errors,” said KVA head coach Todd Wilkerson. “Damon threw the ball good at the beginning. We just didn’t back him up.”

KVA dropped to 1-2 in Eastern Plains Independent Conference play and 1-4 overall.

Grant Baker went the distance for Grace, allowing two earned runs with six strikeouts.

Stevenson was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Pierce Tooley and Colby Wilkerson each came up with two hits at the bottom of the order for the Spartans. Daniel Wilkerson and Banks Conde each added hits and Dustin Smith had an RBI.

KVA left runners stranded in scoring position in the second, fourth, sixth, and seventh innings and left the bases loaded in the second.

“If you don’t hit and then make errors on top of that — that’s tough,” said Todd Wilkerson.

Daniel Wilkerson fanned seven of the first 10 batters he faced and didn’t allow any walks on the game. He kept the Eagles guessing with an effective changeup and a sparsely-used, but lively and challenging curveball.

Todd Wilkerson noted the difference in his son’s delivery from last season.

“He’s improved some with his speed and his control is as good as it’s always been,” he said. “He’s just got a little more pep on it.”

Daniel Wilkerson also struck out 11 in five innings of work last Thursday as KVA picked up its first win of the season, 6-2, over Cary Christian. Dustin Smith threw two innings, striking out six and each pitcher gave up a run.

Leading the Spartans at the plate were Adam Medlin (2-for-3), Daniel Wilkerson (1-for-3), Dustin Smith (1-for-2), Banks Conde (1-for-2), Wil Short (1-for-3), and Colby Wilkerson (1-for-3).

KVA has two more league matches scheduled for this week: Tuesday at Rocky Mount Academy and Thursday at Parrott Academy.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.