Baseball: East Bladen 8, Red Springs 5
By Sonny Jones
ELIZABETHTOWN — It may not have been as easy as expected against the last-place team, but it was a win for the East Bladen baseball team.
Jake Futrell had two hits, drove in three runs and earned a save with four strikeouts in five batters faced Wednesday as the Eagles defeated Red Springs 8-5 at Russell Priest Field.
Marlan Davis was 3-for-4, Zamar Lewis had two hits and drove in a pair of runs and freshman Debo Lewis had two hits for East Bladen. The Eagles improved to 6-5 in the Southeastern Athletic Conference and 10-10 overall with a game at St. Pauls on Friday to close the regular season.
Red Springs finished conference play 1-11. The Eagles are scheduled to play Douglas Byrd on Friday.
Lee Barnes was credited with the win for East Bladen. He entered with no outs in the fifth in relief of Coleman Tatum with two runners on and the score tied at 4-all. Red Springs took a 5-4 lead by the end of the inning.
Tatum pitched into the fifth and gave up five runs — four earned — on five hits, struck out five and walked three. Barnes went 1.2 innings and allowed three hits and struck out two. Futrell walked a batter with two outs in the seventh, but struck out the four other batters he faced.
Jaden Hammonds took the loss for Red Springs. He pitched into the fifth inning and gave up six runs — five earned — on seven hits, struck out four and walked three.
Red Springs scored twice in the second inning when Jeb Clark walked and later stole home on the back end of a double steal. Jamie Tedder, who was on the front end of the double steal, later scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles took a 3-2 lead in the third. Davis lined a one-out single to center and Evan Pait walked. Lewis followed with a single to left that scored Davis. Pait scored when Weston Hatcher was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Lewis scored when Futrell reached on a fielder’s choice.
East Bladen made it 4-2 in the fourth. Lewis led off with a single, went to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a throwing error.
Red Springs regained the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. The Red Devils used singles by Keithan Clark, T.J. Ellerbee, Jaden Hammonds and Tyler Locklear, an error and walk for a 5-4 advantage.
The Eagles answered in the bottom of the fifth for a 6-5 lead. Lewis singled and Garrison Tatum was hit by a pitch. Hatcher advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Futrell then ripped a two-run single to left.
East Bladen plated a pair of insurance runs in the sixth. Davis singled and went to second on a throwing error by the left fielder. After an out, Davis moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Lewis reached on an error. Garrison Tatum’s ground out scored Lewis with the final run.
Red Springs 020 030 0 — 5- 8-4
East Bladen 003 122 x — 8-10-3