Junior Alex Coates pitched a complete-game, and senior Matthew Massengill’s 3 hits led a 13-hit East Bladen attack that carried the Eagles to a 10-6 Four County Conference victory Tuesday night over visiting Pender.
The Eagles jumped in front with a first-inning run. Senior Colby Hester swatted a single, but was retired on sophomore Kyle Tatum’s fielder’s choice. Tatum stole second and raced home on Massengill’s single.
Senior Cameron Guertin hammered a double to key a 3-run Patriot third inning that produced a 3-1 lead.
East Bladen responded with 5 runs in bottom of the third to go up 6-3. Freshman Sincere Smith started the Eagle rally with a single, and Tatum was hit by a pitch. Massengill reached base on an error.
Coates cracked a single to drive in Smith, and junior Nikita Owens walloped a double that scored Tatum and Massengill and vaulted the Eagles on top 4-3.
Freshman McKinley Raynor’s sacrifice fly plated a run, and singles by freshmen Ty Watkins and Xavier Wooten scored Owens with the final run of the inning.
The Eagles stretched their lead to 8-3 in the fourth inning. Hester drew a lead-off walk, and Massengill smacked a single. Coates belted a single that drove in Hester, and an error on Owens’ fly ball scored Massengill.
Guertin slugged a triple to drive in 2 Pender runs in the fifth as the Patriots whittled the East Bladen lead to 8-6. Guertin finished 3-4 at the plate to lead the Patriot hitters.
Smith walked to begin the Eagle fifth, and Tatum rapped a one-out single. Massengill then delivered his third hit of the game as Smith and Tatum scored to push the lead back to 10-6.
A Coates’ strike-out in the Pender sixth turned into a double-play as catcher Tatum’s throw to first forced a Pender runner into a run-down where he was eventually tagged out by second-baseman Hester. Coates struck out the side in the seventh inning to give him seven for the night.
Massengill finished 3-4 at the plate with 3 runs batted in and 2 runs scored. Coates batted 2-3 with 2 rbi’s. Watkins turned in a 2-4 game at the plate.
Owens smashed the 2-run double and scored a run. Tatum, Smith, Hester, Raynor and Wooten added one hit each to the Eagle attack. Tatum scored 3 runs, Smith scored twice, and Hester scored one. Raynor and Wooten drove in one run each.
Coach Russell Priest’s Eagles improved to 4-6 in league play and 8-10 overall. East Bladen will travel to Heide Trask Friday night.