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J. Hoyt Warren/Wayne Edwards Baseball Tournament East Bladen 12, Douglas Byrd 11, 11 Innings

Sophmore Kyle Tatum singled, stole second base and scored the go-ahead run in the eleventh inning on senior Matthew Massengill’s single as East Bladen won the third-place game in the J. Hoyt Warren/Wayne Edwards Tournament with a 12-11 victory over host Douglas Byrd.

In the bottom of the eleventh, East freshman Sincere Smith took the mound in relief of freshman Xavier Wooten and retired 2 of the first 3 batters. During a discussion over a call at first the Byrd base-runner took off for third base and was tagged out by thirdbaseman Alex Coates to end the game.

Smith picked up the save, while Wooten struck out seven and earned his first varsity victory with six innings of relief. “Xavier did a good job,” said East Bladen Coach Russell Priest. “He came in and threw the ball hard. He’s going to help us.”

East Bladen jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead and stretched the margin to 6-0 in the top of the second. Byrd answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the second and 2 more in the third.

Byrd eventually edged ahead by a run, but East tied it back up at 7-7, then 8-8.

Coates started on the hill for East Bladen, before Wooten came on in the fourth inning.

Tatum, Massengill, Coates, Smith, Wooten, freshman McKinley Raynor and junior Nikita Owens all had hits for East Bladen.

“Our defense was pretty good,” said Coach Priest. “We made some plays behind the pitchers.”

East Bladen improves to 5-8 with the victory and will return to conference action Tuesday night at Wallace-Rose Hill.

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