05/29/2024
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ST PAULS – Winning pitcher Skylar Lancaster’s bunt single brought home Cailen McNeill with the winning run in the bottom of the 7th inning as St. Pauls rallied from a 5-1 deficit to defeat West Bladen 6-5 Friday night in Southeastern Athletic Conference baseball action.

West Bladen, now 3-3 in SAC play and 7-10 overall, will host Fairmont Tuesday night. St. Pauls improved to 2-4 in league play and 6-12 overall.

With West Bladen up 5-4, Jaylen Jacobs walked, and Cailen McNeill reached base on an error to start the winning rally. McNeill drove in Malachi Locklear, the courtesy runner for Jacobs, with a single that tied the game. After Jaden Parker was intentionally walked, Lancaster’s bunt plated McNeill with the game-ending run.

Lancaster pitched 3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief walking 1 and striking out 1 to pick up the win. Parker worked the 1st 4 innings on the hill and allowed 5 runs – 4 earned – on 10 hits and 5 walks while striking out 3.

Knight junior Garrett Dunham smoked a lead-off double to left field in the 1st inning. Freshman Ashton Davis’ fielder’s choice moved Dunham to 3rd base. After Jordan Hester walked, junior Allister Russ knocked in Dunham with a single to right. An error on the play sent Jordan Hester to 3rd, and he dashed home on a passed ball. After junior Brady Durden walked, another passed ball plated Allister Russ for a 3-0 West lead.

Junior Aiden Russ lined a single to right to start the 2nd inning. Dunham and Davis belted singles to center field to load the bases, and junior Cade Allen’s fielder’s choice scored Aiden Russ to pad the West lead to 4-0.

Parker singled to center field, and Parker Baker was hit by a pitch to begin the Bulldog 2nd inning. Two outs later Parker scored on an error to whittle the lead to 4-1.

Brady Durden drilled a single to center field to start the Knight 3rd inning. Sophomore Josh Dawson laced a single to center field. Dunham raked a single to left that loaded the bases, before Brady Durden raced home on a wild pitch for a 5-1 West lead.

Theo Setzer led off the Bulldog 3rd with a single to left, advanced on an error and scored on McNeill’s sacrifice bunt to trim the margin to 5-2.

McNeill walked and Parker was hit by a pitch in the St. Pauls 6th inning. Joshua Garner’s infield hit loaded the bases, and Matthew Locklear cracked a 2-run single that scored McNeill and Parker and sliced the lead to 5-4.

Dunham batted 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored for West. Allister Russ turned in a 2-for-3 performance with a run batted in and a run scored. Brady Durden also batted 2-for-3 with a run scored. Davis, Dawson and Aiden Russ added 1 hit each. Allen had an RBI, and Jordan Hester and Aiden Russ scored 1 run each. The Knights left 10 runners on base – 9 in the 1st 4 innings.

Davis started on the mound and pitched 5-plus innings allowing 4 runs – 2 earned – on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Brady Durden worked 1.1 innings of relief and allowed 2 runs – 1 earned – on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.

Matthew Locklear had the key 2-run single for the Bulldogs, and Lancaster’s bunt single plated a run. Parker singled and scored twice. McNeill had an RBI single and a run scored.

West Bladen  311 000 0 — 5-10-3
St. Pauls          011 002 2 — 6-  6-1

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