TAR HEEL – A 6-run sixth-inning propelled Clarkton School of Discovery to a 12-6 victory over Tar Heel Monday in the opening round of the Bladen County Middle School Baseball Tournament.
The Blue Devils took a 6-4 lead into the sixth inning. Lee Barnes reached base on an error, and Parker Greene lined a single to centerfield. Barnes sprinted home on a passed ball, and Greene dashed home on Maison Brooks’ fielder’s choice. Jake Futrell reached base on a passed third strike.
J’Von Junious walked, and Lafon Monroe ripped a single to centerfield that scored Futrell. Tragen McCullum knocked in Junious and Monroe with a single to rightfield, and Matthew Kemp drove in McCullum with a single that padded the Blue Devil lead to 12-4.
Nolan Sessoms beat out an infield hit to start the Panther half of the sixth, and Ahmir Stepps was hit by a pitch. I’Keir Murchison smashed a single to rightfield that scored Sessoms and Stepps to trim the final margin to 12-6.
Futrell pitched 3.2 innings of relief to pick up the win allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out five. Garrett Dunham pitched the first 2.1 innings for the Blue Devils and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out five.
Destin Montgomery pitched all 6 innings for Tar Heel and gave up 11 hits and 6 walks while striking out 14 batters.
Dunham led off the game with a single, stole two bases and raced home on a passed ball for a 1-0 Clarkton lead.
Montgomery swatted a single to rightfield in the Panther first and scooted home when Jordan Underwood walloped a double to centerfield. Mason Jones smacked a single to right that scored Underwood for a 2-1 Tar Heel lead.
Futrell walked to begin the Blue Devil second, and Junious slammed a double to centerfield. Jordan Hester hammered a double to leftfield that scored Futrell and Junious. Dunham laced a single to rightfield that scored Hester and padded the CSD lead to 4-2.
Purnell Hooper drew a lead-off walk in the Panther second inning. Murchison belted a single to rightfield that scored Hooper, and Montgomery drove in Murchison with a single to tie the score 4-4.
Greene led off the Clarkton third inning with a walk, and Brooks drilled a triple to leftfield that scored Greene and vaulted the Blue Devils ahead 5-4.
Dunham walked to start the Blue Devil fourth inning, stole second and galloped home when Barnes cracked a single to push the lead to 6-4.
Junious finished 2-3 at the plate with a double and 2 runs scored to lead the Blue Devil hitters. Dunham batted 2-4 with a run batted in and 2 runs scored. Hester slammed the 2-run double and scored a run. Brooks tripled and drove in 2 runs.
Greene, Barnes, Monroe, McCullum and Kemp connected for one hit each. Greene and Futrell scored 2 runs each. Barnes, Monroe and McCullum scored one run each. McCullum drove in 2 runs, and Barnes, Monroe and Kemp had one rbi each.
Murchison batted 3-5 with 2 rbi’s and a run scored to lead Tar Heel. Montgomery finished 2-4 at the plate with an rbi and a run scored. Underwood doubled home a run and scored one. Jones, Sessoms and Stepps added one hit each. Jones had an rbi, and Sessoms, Stepps and Hooper scored runs.
Coach Robert Mazur’s Blue Devils advanced to Thursday’s championship game against the Elizabethtown/Bladenboro winner.