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Baseball Midway 9, East Bladen 7

East Bladen’s Eagles pulled to within 8-7 with a 4-run fifth inning, but Midway held on for a 9-7 Four County Conference victory at EastTuesday night.

Midway star Matthew Barefoot knocked in a run with a double to stretch the Raider lead to 8-3 in the top of the fifth, but the Eagles battled back against righthander Tyler Pope.

Senior Matthew Massengill reached base on an error to start the Eagle fifth, and one out later junior Alex Coates yanked a single to left field. Joseph Strait walked to load the bases, and freshman Ty Watkins rapped a single through the middle to drive in Massengill.

Junior Tyquan McMillian beat out an infield hit that plated Coates and trimmed the margin to 8-5. Strait was caught in a run-down and tagged out on the play.

Freshman Sincere Smith belted a single to centerfield that drove in Watkiins and McMillian and sliced the lead to 8-7. A pick-off play ended the inning.

The first three Midway batters in the top of the sixth cracked singles with Dylan Hardison driving in the run that made it 9-7. Coates who had started on the mound and pitched the first 2 innings of the game, came on in relief and escaped with no further damage.

Coates struck out one batter, and Smith made a diving stop, then bounced up to fire a strike to catcher Kyle Tatum who tagged out the Raider runner.

Hardison, a junior lefthander, came on in relief of Pope in the sixth and struck out five of the six batters that he faced in 2 innings of work.

Junior Nikita Owens batted 2-4 with a 2-run double and 3 runs-batted-in to lead the Eagle hitters. Smith and Tatum also finished 2-4 at the plate. Smith drove in 2 runs, and Tatum scored 2 runs.

Massengill, Coates, Watkins and McMillian added one hit each for East Bladen. Watkins and McMillian had one rbi each. Massengill scored 2 runs.

The Raiders, the defending state champions, pounded out 5 hits and scored 6 runs in the top of the first inning.

In the bottom of the first, Tatum beat out an infield hit, stole second base and scampered home when Owens slapped a single to right field.

Midway tacked on a run in the top of the third, but East answered with 2 in the bottom of the inning. Tatum lined a single to right-centerfield, and Massengill drew a walk. Owens hammered a double to right-centerfield to drive in Tatum and Massengill and trim the lead to 7-3.

Coates, Smith and Massengill all saw time on the mound for the Eagles.

Barefoot batted 3-4 with a triple to lead the Raider hitters. Hardison finished 2-4 with a double.

The Eagles are now 1-1 in Four County play and 3-3 overall.

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