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NCHSAA Class 2A Baseball Playoffs: East Bladen (19-6) at Washington (19-5)

After knocking off First Flight, top-seeded Midway and ninth-seeded NC School of Science & Math, East Bladen’s Eagles will make the three-hour trip to fourth-seeded Washington on Friday night for a fourth-round game in the NCHSAA Class 2A baseball playoffs.

Coach Russell Priest’s Eagles pulled away with an eight-run fourth inning in Tuesday’s 13-0 romp past the School of Science & Math. Seniors Pierce Melvin and Spencer Scott combined on a four-hitter, and sophomore Zach Meares batted 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. Senior Shy Pone tripled and drove in three runs.

East Bladen pounded out 18 hits in a first round 12-2 win over First Flight, then seniors Greyson Heustess and Dan Tatum drove in the deciding runs in the 4-2 eight-inning victory over Midway. Sophomore Lefrederick Wooten and Melvin combined to pitch a five-hitter and allowed only one earned run against the Raiders.

Meares leads the Eagle hitters with a .407 average. Wooten is batting .352, and Heustess and catcher Brady Hollingsworth are both hitting .329. Senior Josh McKoy (.316), Pone (.315), junior Gabe Barber (.305), Tatum (.297) and Scott (.286) are other top East Bladen hitters.

The Washington Pam Pack, the champions of the Eastern Carolina Conference, have rallied late in all three of their playoff victories to stay alive.

Washington snapped a 2-2 tie with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to defeat South Columbus 5-2 in the opening round. Senior Hunter Hall pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight for the win. Senior Logan Everette batted 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.

The Pam Pack trailed 12-3 after four innings against conference foe Ayden-Grifton then pulled out the 13-12 victory with a five-run seventh inning. Catcher Robert Pollock batted 3-for-5 with three RBI’s, and senior Jeremiah Moore was 2-for-3 with three RBI’s. Hall batted 3-for-5 with two RBI’s. Junior Tyler Rowe pitched three scoreless innings for the win.

Tuesday against North Johnston, the Pam Pack broke a 2-2 tie with a fifth inning run then tacked on two more in the sixth for a 5-2 victory. Everette, a lefthander, threw two hitless innings to save the victory for Hall who struck out eight in five innings. Everette and shortstop Mason Weaver both drove in two runs with two hits each.

Hall leads the Pam Pack hitters batting .448 with 12 doubles and 26 RBI’s. He also is the ace of the staff with a 10-0 record. Weaver (.438, 26 runs), Everette (.440, 29 runs), Moore (.394, 30 RBI’s), senior Wilson Peed (.342) and Pollock (.328, 24 RBI, 2 home runs) are other leading hitters.

South Columbus is the only common opponent for the two teams. Washington defeated the Stallions 5-2 in their playoff opener, while East Bladen won 10-3 at South Columbus, but lost 11-8 to the Stallions at home.

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