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Baseball: East Bladen 4, East Columbus 3

ELIZABETHTOWN – Sophomore Brady Hollingsworth cracked a 2-out walk-off single that drove in the winning run to lift East Bladen to a 4-3 Three Rivers Conference baseball victory over East Columbus Wednesday night.

With the score knotted 3-3, senior Shy Pone and sophmore Freddy Wooten drew 2-out walks in the Eagle seventh inning. Hollingsworth swatted a ground ball through the right side that scored the speedy Pone with the winning run.

Wooten pitched 4 innings of 4-hit scoreless relief and struck out one to pick up the victory. Senior Spencer Scott worked the first 3 innings and allowed 3 runs – 2 earned – on 7 hits while striking out two.

Elijah Bunting and Luke Watts sandwiched singles around J. J. Faulkner’s run-scoring double to give the Gators a 2-0 first inning lead.

Jerome Beck started the Gator third inning with a single, advanced on Faulkner’s single and scored on a passed ball to pad the lead to 3-0.

Senior Dan Tatum was hit by a pitch in the Eagle fourth inning. Senior Pierce Melvin reached base on an error, and Scott lined a single to left field that scored Tatum to trim the margin to 3-1.

Senior Greyson Heustess reached base on an error in the East Bladen fifth inning and raced home when Pone smashed a single to centerfield. Pone stole second and dashed home when Wooten ripped a single to left that tied the game 3-3.

Pone, Scott, Wooten and Hollingsworth connected for run-scoring singles for the Eagles. Pone scored 2 runs, and Tatum and Heustess scored one run each.

Bunting batted 2-3 with a run scored for East Columbus. Faulkner finished 2-4 at the plate with a double, a run batted in and a run scored. Teammate Dillon Ward batted 2-4.

Beck pitched the first 5 innings for the Gators and allowed 3 runs – one earned – on 3 hits and a walk while striking out two. Garrett Jacobs worked 1.2 innings of relief and gave up a run on a hit and two walks.

Coach Russell Priest’s Eagles improved to 11-3 in the league and 13-3 overall. East Bladen will play Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Bulldog Baseball Easter Tournament at Terry Sanford High in Fayetteville against Pinecrest.

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