DUNN – Elizabethtown rallied with eight runs in the final two innings to defeat West Chatham American 9-3 Saturday in the opening round of the North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball State AAA (Minors) Tournament.
Elizabethtown advances to play Riegelwood, a 6-1 winner over Hope Mills American, Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Jayce Hatcher led off the Elizabethtown first inning with a single but was retired on Joshua Dawson’s fielder’s choice. C. J. McCracken hammered a double that scored Dawson with the game’s first run.
West Chatham tied the game with a run in the second inning and scored twice in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
Hunter Wood reached base on an error, and Hatcher walked to start the Elizabethtown fifth inning. Dawson slugged a two-out double that scored Wood and Hatcher and tied the game.
McCracken walked, and Tyler Eason knocked in Dawson with a single. Easton Bostic cracked a single that scored McCracken. Collin Cole was hit by a pitch, and Jaxon Hair drove in Eason with a single as Elizabethtown took a 6-3 lead.
Hatcher walked, and Dawson was hit by a pitch to begin the Elizabethtown sixth inning. McCracken laced a single that scored Hatcher. Eason walked to load the bases, and Bostic’s fielder’s choice scored Dawson and McCracken who raced home all the way from second base.
McCracken walloped two doubles and batted 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Bostic finished 2-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBI’s. Dawson doubled, scored three runs and drove in two runs.
Claxton Tatum, Hatcher, Eason, Wood, Hair and Fox Sutton connected for one hit each. Hatcher scored twice, and Eason and Wood scored one run each. Eason and Hair drove in one run each.
Hatcher pitched the first two innings for the winners and allowed a run on three hits and a walk while striking out one. Braylon Cromartie struck out five in his 3 innings of relief and picked up the win, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks.
McCracken pitched 0.1 scoreless innings and recorded a strikeout and a walk. Eason finished up, working 0.2 scoreless innings with one strikeout.