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CCSN Junior Varsity Baseball Tournament: West Bladen 11, South Columbus 8

CERRO GORDO – Lefthander Ian Sykes pitched 5 strong innings, and West Bladen held on for an 11-8 victory over South Columbus Tuesday in the opening round of the Columbus County Sports Network Junior Varsity Baseball Tournament.

Sykes struck out 8 batters and allowed 3 runs on 5 walks and 4 hits. Caleb Sholar came on to get the first 2 outs in the sixth inning, before 3 hits and 3 walks led to 5 Stallion runs. Sholar struck out one.

Sophmore Trey Storms worked the final 1.1 innings on the hill to pick up the save. Storms struck out one and allowed only one hit in a scoreless seventh inning.

After a pair of scoreless innings, West Bladen exploded for 4 runs in the third. Shawn Oxendine drew a lead-off walk, and two outs later Sykes was hit by a pitch.

Sholar slammed a double that drove in Oxendine, before sophmore Jonathan Robinson blasted a 3-run home run over the rightfield fence for a 4-0 Knight lead.

The Knights tacked on 4 more runs in the fourth inning. Catcher Jalen Drew was hit by a pitch, Cameron Peterson walked, and T. J. Guyton was hit by a pitch. Sykes drew a walk to force home Drew. Sholar smashed a 2-run double, and Robinson poled a sacrifice fly that stretched the lead to 8-0.

Oxendine was hit by a pitch in the West fifth inning, and Peterson hammered a double. Guyton knocked in Oxendine with a single that grew the lead to 9-0.

The Stallions answered with 3 runs on 4 walks, a hit batter and a single in the home half of the fifth, but West pushed the lead back to 10-3 in the sixth. Robinson belted a single, and Storms was hit by a pitch. A pair of wild pitches scored Robinson.

After the 5-run Stallion sixth trimmed the count to 10-8, David Valenta and Guyton both walked to begin the Knight seventh. Sholar smacked a single to drive in Valenta and pad the lead to 11-8.

Sholar batted 3-5 with 2 doubles, 4 runs batted in and a run scored. Robinson walloped the home run and finished 2-2 with 4 rbi’s and 2 runs scored. Peterson doubled and scored a run, and Guyton and Storms added singles.

Oxendine and Sykes scored 2 runs each, and Guyton, Valenta and Drew scored one run each. Guyton and Sykes had one rbi each.

Coach Rick Rhoda’s Knights improve to 7-2 and advance to the tournament semi-finals against the West Columbus/St. Pauls winner at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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