Baseball: West Bladen 4, St. Pauls 3, 9 Innings
By John Clark
BLADENBORO – Nine days ago St. Pauls scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to overcome a 3-2 West Bladen lead and claim a 4-3 walk-off victory. Thursday night the tables were reversed as the Knights rode a 2-run rally in the bottom of the 9th inning to a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Bulldogs.
“My guys never give up,” said a happy Knight Coach Wade Pait. “I told them before our last at-bat that we had a chance to give them some payback, and we did.”
Junior Andre Moore dropped a bunt down to start the home 9th, and the Bulldog pitcher bobbled the ball then his throw got away from the first baseman allowing Moore to reach 2nd base. One out later senior Bryce Fuller lined a single to right field that scored Moore with the tying run.
Sophomore Cade Allen pounded a 2-out single into the ground that bounced over the third baseman’s head. Senior Hunter Smith scorched a liner up the middle that the second baseman knocked down to keep Mason Jones, the pinch-runner for Fuller, from scoring. Senior Kaden Revels then reached base on a throwing error that allowed Jones to score the game-ending run.
West Bladen improves to 6-5 in the Southeastern Athletic Conference and 13-7 overall and will host league leader Midway Friday night. St. Pauls, now 6-5 in the SAC-7, will host 6-5 East Bladen Friday night.
After C. McNeill and Cameron Revels drew 1-out walks in the Bulldog 9th inning, sophomore Garrett Dunham relieved and struck out the next batter. T.J. Parker blooped a single just over the infield, and when the ball was bobbled in right field, McNeill scored the go-ahead run.
Dunham pitched 0.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing a hit and striking out one batter to pick up the win. Senior Garrison Carr started on the mound for the Knights and worked 3.1 scoreless innings allowing a hit and 2 walks while striking out 4.
West sophomore Brady Durden pitched 1.2 innings of relief and allowed 2 runs – 1 earned – on 3 hits while striking out 3. Fuller worked 3.1 hitless innings of relief and gave up an unearned run on 3 walks while striking out 8.
Fuller batted 2-for-4 with the game-tying RBI and scored a run. Sophomore Hezekiah Adams, Allen, Smith, Durden and senior Hunter Elks all contributed 1 hit each to the Knight attack. Adams, Moore and Jones scored 1 run each.
Adams walked to start the Knight 1st inning, and Fuller laced a single to right-center field. A wild Bulldog throw to third base allowed Adams to score the game’s 1st run. Allen walked and an error on a steal attempt scored Fuller for a 2-0 West lead.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the 6th inning. Zious Dorley hammered a double to left-center field, and Tommy Parker reached on an error. Joshua Garner drilled a double to left that scored Dorley and Parker.
Garner led the St. Pauls hitters with the 2-run double. Dorley doubled and scored a run. McNeill and Tommy Parker both singled and scored runs. Pitcher Jaden Parker had the other Bulldog hit.
Jaden Parker started and pitched 4.2 innings for the Bulldogs allowing 2 unearned runs on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. McNeill pitched a scoreless inning and walked one. Tommy Parker pitched the final 3 innings and gave up 2 unearned runs on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 5.
The 2 teams combined for 12 errors in the game.
West Bladen celebrated Senior Night with festivities before the game. Seniors recognized were Bryce Fuller, Hunter Elks, Hunter Smith, Aaron Wren, Kaden Revels and Garrison Carr.
St. Pauls 000 002 001 — 3-5-7
West Bladen 200 000 002 — 4-7-5