ELIZABETHTOWN – Claxton Tatum, Cam Byers and Tyler Eason combined to pitch a 2-hitter and strikeout 13 batters as Elizabethtown rallied for a 14-3 victory over Fairmont Wednesday night in the North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball Division 1 Majors State Tournament on Carl Newkirk Field at Leinwand Park.
Elizabethtown, the last undefeated team remaining in the tournament, will play West Robeson Thursday night at 7:30. Fairmont will play Leland at 5:30.
Photos by Kenneth Armstrong
Collin Cole led off the game with a single to center field and came around to score on a pair of passed balls to give Elizabethtown an early 1-0 lead.
Fairmont rallied in the bottom of the inning. Pitcher Malik Singletary reached base on an error, Nishique McQueen rapped a single past shortstop, and Jamarion Brown vaulted Fairmont in front 3-1 with a home run over the left field fence.
Singletary kept Fairmont on top by hurling a pair of scoreless innings, before Elizabethtown exploded for 5 runs after 2 were out in the 4th inning. Byers crushed a solo home run over the left field fence, Josh Dawson walked, and C. J. McCracken walloped a triple to right field that tied the game 3-3.
Jayce Hatcher walked, and Eason ripped a single to left that scored McCracken with the go-ahead run. Easton Bostic reached base on an error that scored both Hatcher and Eason as the lead grew to 6-3.
Cole walked to start Elizabethtown’s 8-run 5th inning. Tatum laced a single to right field that scored Cole. Byers slammed a double to left that plated Tatum. Dawson pounded a double to left that brought home Byers. McCracken yanked a single to left, and Eason walked.
Bostic slapped a single past 2nd that drove home Dawson and McCracken. Cole walked and Tatum cleaned the bases with a double to center field that stretched the lead to 14-3.
Tatum batted 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 4 runs batted in and a run scored to lead the winners at the plate. McCracken was a perfect 2-for-2 with a triple, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Byers walloped the home run and a double, had 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
Dawson slugged the RBI double and scored 2 runs. Cole, Eason and Bostic smacked 1 hit each. Cole scored 3 runs, Eason scored twice, and Bostic and Hatcher scored 1 run each. Bostic had 2 RBIs, and Eason had an RBI.
Tatum gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk in his 2 innings on the mound while striking out four. Byers struck out all 6 batters that he faced in his 2 innings of work, and Eason struck out 3 and walked 1 in his 1 inning on the hill.
Brown’s 3-run home run accounted for the Fairmont offense. McQueen added a single.