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HILLSVILLE -- April of 1993 was the last time Carroll County and Galax had met on the baseball field in varsity competition. The once-heated rivalry was ended following a 29-3 win by the Cavaliers that included 15 walks and eight errors by the Maroon Tide.
A lot can change in 17 years.
Galax jumped on Carroll County early and never let up, rolling past the Cavaliers 11-3 in a nondistrict stunner Wednesday at Bill Worrell Field. The Maroon Tide pounded out 10 hits and rode a big day by Michael Bond to improve to 4-2 on the year. Carroll County dropped to 0-2.
“The guys hit the ball where it was pitched today,” said Galax coach Ronald Mankins, who played his high school ball at Carroll County. “We hit it extremely well, we got some timely hitting and we got some good solid contact. We got some breaks here and there, but as far as hitting the baseball, I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m just really proud of them.”
Galax never trailed after taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. A two-out hit batsman kept the inning alive for Bond, who ripped a two-run home run to left, kicking off a remarkable day for the Maroon Tide junior.
Galax’s starting pitcher, Bond gave back one run in the bottom of the first on a dropped pop-up followed by an RBI single by Adam Crotts, but he cruised for most of the rest of the afternoon. Starting with the final out of the first inning, the Tide right-hander would retire 15 straight Cavalier batters until getting into a jam with two gone in the sixth.
“He did a good job mixing speed and location and was able to keep them off-stride most of the day,” said Mankins. “He moved the ball around in the strike zone and made them put it in play, and for the most part we made the plays behind him.”
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Carroll County coach Joe Tompkins said. “I can take getting beat, but not losing the way we did today. We played like all we had to do to win was show up, and we got our tails whipped. They were better than us, and they played like they wanted to win.”
Galax’s day really took off in the top of the third. A one-out walk, an Eddie Hanks single and a potential double play ball that got nobody out loaded the bases for Bond, who smashed a towering grand slam to left-center, ballooning the Maroon Tide lead from a single run to 6-1.
Galax flirted with ending the game on the slaughter rule, tacking on five runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Run-scoring doubles by Travis Garvey and Kyle Schaeffer and a two-run Brock Cox double that rattled the left-centerfield fence had Galax on top 10-1 in the fifth, and Travis Cockerham cranked a solo homer in the sixth for the magical 10-run lead.
Carroll County was a strike away from going home early but Tyler Reavis singled with two out in the bottom of the sixth. Craig Rosen followed with a double to left-center that drove in Reavis, and Rosen scored on a bobbled grounder to short.
Bond got out of the inning and gave way to Cockerham, who worked a 1-2-3 seventh to finish Carroll off. Bond allowed just three hits in six innings, striking out three and walking none.
“We didn’t make him work all day,” Tompkins said. “He did a good job. He threw strikes, and we went after most of them. We had no discipline at all at the plate.”
Bond went 3-for-3 with four runs scored and six RBIs for Galax. Cockerham added two hits and Cox drove in a pair.
Galax.......................204 041 0––11 10 3
Carroll County.........100 002 0–– 3 3 1
Bond, Cockerham (7) and Woodel. Edwards, Rosenbaum (4), Underwood (6) and Snow, Wood (5). WP -- Bond. LP -- Edwards. HR – Bond (G) 1st, one on; 3rd, three on; Cockerham (G) 6th, none on. 2B – Garvey, Cox, Schaeffer (G), Rosen (CC). SB – Reavis, Woodel.