A five-run, fourth-inning rally overcame a 2-0 West Robeson American lead and propelled Elizabethtown to a 7-4 victory Monday night that put the winners into the championship game of the Dixie Youth Baseball District 9 Minors Tournament at Red Springs.
Elizabethtown is the only remaining unbeaten team in the double-elimination tournament and will play once-beaten West Robeson National in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. championship game.
West Robeson American led 2-0 entering the home half of the fourth, but Jake Futrell beat out an infield hit, and Coleman Tatum walked. Evan Pait’s fielder’s choice left runners at first and second.
Garrison Tatum reached on an error that loaded the bases. Tyrone Mathis’ single drove in Coleman Tatum, and Elijah Bullard smacked a single to center that scored Pait.
Walker Ward belted a single that drove in Garrison Tatum and Mathis. After Ryan Johnson reached base on catcher’s interference that loaded the bases, Bullard scored the fifth run on an error.
West Robeson National whittled the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth, but Garrison Tatum reached base on an error in the bottom of the fifth, and Mathis ripped a double to left-centerfield that drove him in.Mathis took third on the throw to the plate and sprinted home on a passed ball to up the count to 7-3.
With a runner on base, a double to deep right-field in the West Robeson sixth inning plated a run, but a strong relay from right-fielder Ryan Johnson to second-baseman Mathis to third-baseman Bullard beat the batter to third base and forced a run-down that resulted in the first out of the inning. A ground ball and a pop-up ended the game.
Coleman Tatum started on the mound for Elizabethtown and pitched 3 innings, striking out 3 and giving up a run and 3 walks. Pait pitched the final 3 innings to pick up the win, striking out 3, walking one and allowing 3 runs.
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