By Sonny Jones
ELIZABETHTOWN — Last week Noah Parker was named the Most Valuable Player in leading Fairmont to the Robeson County Slugfest championship.
Tuesday night, the right-handed pitcher leadoff batter helped the Golden Tornadoes add to a frustrating season for East Bladen.
Parker struck out 12 and scattered five hits in pitching Fairmont to a 4-1 victory against the Eagles in a Southeastern Athletic Conference baseball game at Russell Priest Field.
The loss was the third straight in the league for East Bladen and came after a promising second-place finish in the Bulldog Easter Invitational last week at Fayetteville’s Terry Sanford High School. The Eagles are 2-5 in SAC play and 6-10 overall.
Fairmont improved to 6-3 in the league and 14-4 in all games after beating East Bladen for the fourth consecutive time. The Eagles last win in the series came in 2019 by a 10-1 score. The teams didn’t play in 2020 and met only once in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The teams are scheduled to play at Fairmont on Thursday.
Evan Pait took the loss on the mound for East Bladen. The senior right-hander allowed five hits and four runs, struck out five and walked four in six innings. Lee Barnes pitched the seventh inning.
Pait went 3-for-3 at the plate. Ty Mathis and Barnes each had a hit for the Eagles.
East Bladen’s offense was hurt by having a runner picked off second and a pair of line drive double plays turned by the Golden Tornadoes. The Eagles had at least one runner on base each inning, but couldn’t get a key hit after the first inning.
Nate Jones and Kenley Callahan each drove in two runs for Fairmont.
Parker opened the game with a triple to deep right field and scored on Jones’ sacrifice bunt.
East Bladen tied it in the bottom of the first. Pait slapped a one-out single to left. Courtesy runner Darious Williamson stole second and went to third on a throwing error on the play. Mathis’ beat out an infield single that plated Williamson.
Fairmont regained the lead in the third. Roderick Deese doubled, stole third and scored on Jones’ second sacrifice bunt.
The Golden Tornadoes added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth. Parker walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Jones’ single. Jones stole second to put runners on second and third. Callahan followed with a solid single to left that plated the two runners.
Fairmont 101 020 0 — 4-5-1
East Bladen 100 000 0 — 1-5-2