DURHAM – Seniors Pierce Melvin and Spencer Scott combined on a four-hit shutout, and East Bladen rode an eight-run fourth inning to a 13-0 victory over the N.C. School of Science & Math on Tuesday in the third round of the NCHSAA Class 2A baseball playoffs.
Coach Russell Priest’s Eagles improved to 19-6 with the victory and advanced to a fourth-round game at fourth-seeded Washington (19-5). The Pam Pack defeated North Johnston 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Melvin pitched four scoreless innings and allowed three hits and a walk while striking out six. Scott struck out one batter in a scoreless fifth inning and gave up one hit.
The Eagles jumped in front with four first inning runs. Junior Gabe Barber was hit by a pitch and raced to third base as senior Shy Pone’s fly ball was misplayed in center field. Sophomore Lefrederick Wooten’s ground ball scored Barber.
After sophomore Brady Hollingsworth was hit by a pitch to load the bases, sophomore Zach Meares forced Pone out at the plate, but seniors Greyson Heustess and Dan Tatum were both hit by pitches to force home Wooten and Jay McKoy, the courtesy runner for Hollingsworth. Meares darted home on a passed ball with the fourth run.
Barber started the Eagle fourth inning with a walk, stole second and third bases and dashed home on Pone’s ground ball. Wooten raked a single past third, and Hollingsworth walked. Wooten stole third base, and Jay McKoy, the runner for Hollingsworth, stole second base. Meares smoked a single to left field that scored Wooten and Jay McKoy.
Heustess and Scott both reached base on errors to load the bases, and Tatum was hit by a pitch to force home Meares. Senior Josh McKoy lined a single to left that scored Heustess. Barber reached base on a fielder’s choice that plated Scott. Pone walloped a triple to right field that scored Tatum and Barber and padded the Eagle lead to 12-0.
Hollingsworth laced a single to left to start the East Bladen fifth. Courtesy runner Jay McKoy stole second base and scooted home when Heustess smashed a double to right field.
Meares batted 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored to lead the Eagle hitters. Pone tripled and drove in three runs. Heustess doubled, drove in two runs and scored a run. Wooten, Hollingsworth and Josh McKoy added one hit each.
Tatum had two RBI’s, and Barber, Wooten and Josh McKoy had one RBI each. Barber and Jay McKoy scored three runs each. Wooten scored twice, and Tatum and Scott scored one run each.
Junior Benji Panuski batted 2-for-2 to lead the Unicorn hitters. Senior William Leary, the first of four Unicorn pitchers, was charged with the loss. The School of Science & Math finished the season with a 15-2 record.