05/20/2019
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ST. PAULS – Lucas Oxendine struck out 15 and pitched a one-hit shutout Monday as Purnell Swett defeated West Bladen 9-0 in the semifinals of the Robeson County Baseball Slugfest at St. Pauls High School.

West Bladen, 6-2, is scheduled to play Lumberton at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the third-place game. Purnell Swett is scheduled to play Fairmont at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the championship game. Fairmont beat Lumberton 4-0 in Monday’s other semifinal game.

Oxendine, a sophomore right-hander, had his no-hit bid broken up in the sixth inning by West Bladen pinch-hitter Joseph Miller, whose hard grounder stayed fair inside the third base bag for a single. The only other West Bladen runners were Seth Britt, who drew a walk to open the game, but was caught stealing, and Michael Pastore, who was hit by a pitch in the second inning.

Oxendine struck out the side in the third, fifth and sixth innings.

Chandler Lennon started on the mound for West Bladen. The junior right-hander tossed four innings and kept the Knights in the game, but struggled with his control in walking seven and hitting a batter. Lennon allowed only two hits, and three runs, but only one of the runs was earned. Mason Hester pitched the final two innings.

Purnell Swett plated a pair of unearned runs in the first inning, using an error, hit batsman and a walk to help plate the runs.

The Rams added a run in the third on McKinley Strickland’s RBI single. Purnell Swett added four runs in the fifth on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman, then scored twice in the sixth on three singles and a sacrifice fly.

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