CLINTON – Junior Evan Pait and sophomore Britt Sasser combined to pitch a 5-hitter and strike out 11 batters to lead East Bladen to a 7-1 Southeastern Athletic Conference baseball victory over Clinton Wednesday night.
Pait pitched 5.2 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out nine. Sasser worked 1.1 innings of scoreless, hitless relief, striking out 2 and walking 1 batter.
Junior Zamar Lewis reached 2nd base on an error that began the Eagle 2nd inning. Sophomore Lee Barnes reached base on an error that scored Lewis for a 1-0 East lead.
Pait yanked a 1-out single to left field in the East 3rd inning, and Tyler Johnson smacked a single to right. Lewis walked to load the bases, and Barnes ripped a single to left that scored senior Ahmad Powell, the courtesy runner for Pait, and Tyler Johnson. An error on the play brought home Lewis and stretched the Eagle lead to 4-0.
Singles by Connor Tyner and Jeffrey Arnette sandwiched around an Eagle error produced a Clinton run in the 3rd inning and trimmed the margin to 4-1.
Cole Butler led off the Eagle 6th inning with a single, advanced on a fielder’s choice and raced home when Ethan Johnson smashed a base hit through the right side for a 5-1 East lead.
Jake Futrell lined a single to right to start the Eagle 7th inning. Lewis raked a single past shortstop, and Barnes walked. Butler was hit by a pitch that forced home senior Raymond Autry, the courtesy runner for Futrell, and senior Chase Starkloff walked to force home Lewis and pad the lead to 7-1.
Barnes batted 2-for-3 with 3 runs batted in for the Eagles, and Lewis also finished 2-for-3 at the plate with 3 runs scored. Pait batted 2-for-4, and Tyler Johnson, Futrell, Ethan Johnson and Butler connected for 1 hit each.
Butler, Ethan Johnson and Starkloff drove in runs, and Tyler Johnson, Autry, Butler and Powell scored 1 run each.
Tyner batted 2-for-2 with a run scored to lead Clinton. Senior Blake Smith was the first of 4 Dark Horse pitchers. Coach Grant Pait’s Eagles improved to 5-6 in SAC-7 play and 9-11 overall. East Bladen will host Clinton Thursday night.