Polk Middle sends message with big win over Waynesville Middle

Polk County Middle first-year head coach Kenny Hall

Polk County Middle’s baseball team sent a message Thursday to the rest of the Blue Ridge Conference – beware the Wolverines in the final weeks of the season.

Polk Middle rode a four-run fifth inning to a 6-2 victory over Waynesville Middle in a BRC matchup at a windy Polk County Recreation Complex.

Waynesville (5-3) entered as the second-place team in the BRC West, but the Mountaineers couldn’t stop Polk Middle (4-4) in the fifth.

Angus Weaver doubled to open the inning, with Lawson Carter following with a walk. A passed ball moved both runners up a base, and Chan Barber’s single brought the two runners home to give Polk a 4-2 lead.

Auston Ledford drew a walk, and Evan Jones reached base when hit by a pitch with one out. Two-out walks to Coble Cameron and Jackson Beiler gave the Wolverines two more runs and their four-run advantage.

Barber made that lead hold, keeping Waynesville Middle scoreless over the final three innings.

“Today was a big win for our team,” said Polk Middle head coach Kenny Hall. “Waynesville is one of the best teams in our league and this win today proved to our guys that they belong in the conversation as one of the top teams.”

A first-inning homer gave Waynesville an early 1-0 edge, but the Wolverines evened the score in the bottom of the second on a Ledford RBI single.

Another Mountaineer homer in the third gave Waynesville a 2-1 lead, but Polk answered in the third as Beiler scored on a Barber grounder.

Cameron finished 2-for-2 with an RBI, with Weaver going 2-for-3 and Barber going 1-for-4 with three RBI.

Barber pitched a complete game, striking out six and allowing seven hits.

“Chan Barber has pitched back-to-back gems for us,” Hall said. “Coble Cameron, Jackson Beiler and Angus Weaver have been red hot with their bats.

“Our defense has made some tremendous plays. Coach (John) Ruth and I are looking forward to the rest of the season and how far this team can go.”

Polk Middle is next in action on Monday, traveling to face Bethel Middle.