ANDERSON, SC – After a 3 hour, 30 minute weather delay, Lunenburg, Virginia scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th inning to edge Bladen County 2-1 in the winners’ bracket of the Dixie Youth Baseball Majors Division 2 World Series.
Bladen County will play the Alabama state champions Sunday at 3:15 in an elimination game. Alabama edged Georgia 5-4 Saturday.
The Virginia win overshadowed an outstanding pitching performance by Bladen’s Ashton Davis who struck out 16 batters before reaching his pitch-count limit at the end of the 6th inning. Davis gave up 1 run on 3 hits, a walk and a hit batter.
In the Bladen 2nd inning, Davis yanked a leadoff single to left field, then stole 2nd base before the throw went back to the pitching rubber. A throwing error on Sawyer King’s grounder to shortstop allowed Davis to score the Bladen run with a headfirst slide.
Davis struck out 11 of the 13 batters that he faced in the first 4 innings, but a single, a hit batter and a trio of stolen bases produced the tying run for Virginia in the 5th inning. Davis struck out 2 batters with a runner at 3rd base, before the runner stole home to tie the game.
Bladen County outhit Virginia 8-3, but left 9 runners on base, had 2 players thrown out at the plate and 2 more thrown out at 2nd base.
In the Bladen 6th inning, Luke Bryant slapped a single to right field, and Gauge King rapped a single to center that sent Bryant to 3rd base. Corben Chadwick pulled a grounder to 3rd base, but Bryant was thrown out at the plate. After Davis was walked intentionally, Gauge King was out at the plate attempting to score on a wild pitch.
Devan Stanley relieved Davis to start the 7th inning and walked the 1st batter he faced. Cole Brisson relieved and retired the next 2 batters on a strikeout and a forceout before lightning and rain halted play for 3.5 hours. When play resumed, 2 wild pitches ended the game.
Gauge King batted 2-for-3 to lead the Bladen hitters, and Davis, Chase Bryan, Cole Brisson, Drake Gause, Sawyer King and Bryant connected for 1 hit each for Bladen County. Davis scored the Bladen County run.
West Onslow, the North Carolina state runners-up, defeated Honea Path, the host team, 6-2 and will play Amelia, Virginia Sunday at 3:15 in the winners’ bracket.
Bladen Co. 010-000-0 — 1-8-0
Virginia 000-010-1 — 2-3-1