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NC DYB State AAA (Minors) Tournament: Elizabethtown 3, Whiteville 1

DUNN – C. J. McCracken and Jayce Hatcher combined to pitch a three-hitter and strike out nine batters as Elizabethtown defeated Whiteville 3-1 on Thursday night to advance to the championship game of the North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball State AAA (Minors) Tournament.

It was the fourth consecutive elimination-game win for the Elizabethtown team that will play unbeaten Stanley at 10 a.m. Friday in the first championship game. If Elizabethtown wins, a second and deciding championship game will follow one hour after the completion of the first game.

McCracken pitched 4.2 scoreless innings and allowed only two hits and three walks while striking out nine to pick up the win. Hatcher worked the final 1.1 innings and allowed one run and one hit to record the save.

Hunter Wood drew a walk to begin the third inning, and Braylon Cromartie reached base on an error. Brady Marlowe’s grounder to third base scored Wood, and Hatcher’s grounder to shortstop plated Cromartie for a 2-0 Elizabethtown lead.

Claxton Tatum led off the Elizabethtown fifth inning with a walk, and Fox Sutton belted a two-out single. Hatcher smacked a single, and Easton Bostic was hit by a pitch that forced home Tatum with the third run.

Whiteville scored their only run in the sixth inning on a hit and an error.

Hatcher, Tatum, and Sutton connected for one hit each for the winners. Tatum, Wood and Cromartie scored one run each. Hatcher, Bostic and Marlowe drove in one run each.

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