ELIZABETHTOWN –Cam Byers blasted a grand-slam home run that propelled Elizabethtown to a 10-4 victory over Fairmont Friday night in the North Carolina Dixie Youth Majors State Tournament.
The victory sends Elizabethtown into the state championship game Saturday morning at 10:00 against West Robeson. Both teams have 1 loss in the tournament.
Elizabethtown carried a 6-4 lead into the 6th inning, but Jackson Hair yanked a single to left, Collin Cole laced a single to left and Claxton Tatum lashed a single to center field that loaded the bases. Byers then walloped the grand-slam homer that broke the game open.
Jayce Hatcher started on the mound for Elizabethtown and pitched 3-plus innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out four. Tatum relieved Hatcher in the 4th inning and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings striking out 5 and giving up 1 hit. Tyler Eason pitched to 1 batter in the 6th inning and ended the game on a strikeout.
Cole led off the game with a walk and advanced on a passed ball and a wild pitch before Tatum knocked him in with a double to right field. Tatum stole 3rd base then darted home on a passed ball. C. J. McCracken walked, Eason reached base on an error and Josh Dawson was hit by a pitch. Hatcher’s fielder’s choice plated McCracken for a 3-0 Elizabethtown lead.
Cole spanked a single to center field to begin the 3rd inning. Tatum hammered a double to center field, and Byers clobbered a double to center field that scored Cole and Tatum and stretched the Elizabethtown lead to 5-0.
Fairmont rallied in the 4th inning. Laetttner Locklear walked, and pitcher Malik Singletary and Nishique McQueen cracked singles to load the bases. Catcher Jamarion Brown drilled a grand-slam home run over the right-center field fence to slice the Elizabethtown lead to 5-4.
McCracken ripped a single to left to start the Elizabethtown 5th inning. Dawson walked, and Hatcher smashed a single to left that scored McCracken and padded the Elizabethtown lead to 6-4.
Byers racked up 6 runs batted in with his home run and double and also scored a run. Tatum batted 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 3 runs scored and an RBI. Cole finished 2-for-3 at the plate with 3 runs scored. Hatcher batted 2-for-4 with an RBI. McCracken, Dawson, Braylon Cromartie and Hair contributed 1 hit each to the 13-hit Elizabethtown attack. McCracken also scored a run.
Brown’s grand-slam homer topped the Fairmont hitters. Singletary batted 2-for-4 with a run scored. McQueen and Davion Hunt added 1 hit each to the 5-hit Fairmont attack.