ELIZABETHTOWN – Eli Freeman pitched 4 innings of scoreless relief as West Robeson rallied for a 9-6 victory over Elizabethtown Thursday night in the North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball Division 1 Majors State Tournament.
It was Elizabethtown’s 1st loss in the tournament and leaves Elizabethtown, West Robeson and Fairmont with 1 loss each in the double-elimination event. Elizabethtown will play Fairmont Friday at 6:30 p.m. and the winner of that game will play West Robeson Saturday at 10 a.m.
Photos by Kenneth Armstrong
Freeman relieved West Robeson starting pitcher Kennan Hunt in the 3rd inning and allowed 3 hits while striking out three. Hunt had allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2 in his 2-plus innings on the mound.
Elizabethtown’s Collin Cole led off the game with a walk, and Claxton Tatum smashed a single through the middle. An error on the play advanced both runners, and both of them scored 2 outs later when C. J. McCracken walloped a double off the center field fence.
Mason Brewer dumped a single into right field to begin the West Robeson 2nd inning, and Conley Jacobs tied the game with a 2-run home run over the left field fence. Freeman beat out an infield hit, and 2 outs later Ayden Hammond drove him in with a double to right that edged West Robeson ahead 3-2.
Fox Sutton ripped a single down the left field line to start the Elizabethtown 3rd inning. Cade Rogers walked, and Cole laced a single over 2nd base to load the bases.
Tatum drilled a double to left-center field that scored Sutton and Rogers and vault Elizabethtown in front. A throwing error on Cam Byers ground ball plated Cole, and Dawson’s ground ball scored Tatum to push the Elizabethtown lead to 6-3.
West Robeson answered with 6 runs in the bottom of the inning. Wyatt McMillan blooped a single to right, and Joseden Oxendine walked. Jordan Locklear’s double scored McMillan and Oxendine. Hunt slapped a single to right, and Jacobs drove in Locklear with a single.
Hunt scored on a wild pitch to put West Robeson in front 7-6. Jacobs beat out an infield hit, and Christian Locklear lined a double that scored Mason Brewer and Jacobs for a 9-6 Elizabethtown lead.
Tatum batted 2-for-3 with a double, 2 runs batted in and 2 runs scored. McCracken finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and 2 RBIs. Tyler Eason hammered a double, and Cole, Jackson Hair, Sutton and Dawson added 1 hit each. Cole scored 2 runs, and Sutton and Rogers scored 1 run each. Dawson also had an RBI.
McCracken pitched the 1st 2 innings for Elizabethtown and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits while striking out one. Byers pitched 0.1 innings of relief and allowed 6 runs on 5 hits and a walk while striking out one. Tatum worked 2.1 scoreless innings of relief and gave up 2 hits and a walk while striking out three. Jayce Hatcher threw 1 pitch in relief in the 6th inning and retired the only batter he faced.
Jacobs batted 3-for-3 with the 2-run homer and 2 runs scored to lead the West Robeson hitters. Brewer was 2-for-3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Jordan Locklear doubled and drove in 2 runs. Hammond doubled home another run.