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A Season Interrupted – Baseball

With graduation plans being finalized for Bladen County, it seems like a good time to review this season that never really got started due to the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus. We will start these reviews with baseball.

East Bladen
The Eagles rolled to the 4th round of the 2019 NCHSAA Class 2A Play-offs before dropping a 5-4 decision at Washington and were expected to contend for the Three Rivers Conference title this season.

East Bladen’s tough early schedule included 3 games against teams that made the 2019 play-offs. Junior Lefrederick Wooten pitched a complete-game 4-hitter in an opening 3-0 loss to defending Three Rivers Conference champ Whiteville.

Junior Zach Meares struck out 12 batters, cracked 2 hits and drove in 2 runs in a 9-3 victory over South Columbus. Wooten doubled and knocked in 3 runs.

In their final game the Eagles dropped a 13-6 decision at Midway. Senior Xavier McKoy hammered a run-scoring triple for East Bladen, and juniors Jay McKoy, Tyler Hill, Dylan Fine, and Wooten and sophomore Ethan Johnson connected for one hit each.

Eagle seniors who completed their high school careers included outfielders Gabe Barber, Xavier McKoy and Desyias McKoy and infielder/pitcher Lant Pait.

West Bladen
A late Clinton run handed the Knights a tough opening 3-2 loss at Clinton. Sophomore Kaiden Stanley and seniors Nolan Bryant and Colby White combined to pitch a 2-hitter, strike-out 12 batters and allow only a single earned run in the loss.

Junior Kendall Johnson knocked in both Knight runs with a 2-2 game that included a double. Bryant batted 2-3 with a double and run scored.

After dropping an 11-0 decision at Fairmont, the Knights rebounded with an 8-4 win at Red Springs in their season finale. Bryant and freshman Hunter Smith teamed up to pitch a 5-hitter and strike-out 11 batters in the win.

Sophomore Devon Strange batted 2-3 with a double and 4 runs batted in to lead the West Bladen hitters. Senior Dawson Bryan connected for 2 hits and drove in a run, and White finished 2-4 at the plate. Senior Braylon Williamson slammed a double and scored twice.

Pitchers Nolan Bryant and Colby White, outfielder/catcher Dawson Bryan and infielder Braylon Williamson were the Knights who concluded their high school careers.

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