• 3:30 pm Bladen County Sheriff’s office receives recognition for participation in Operation Medicine Drop Take Back Event
  • 3:13 pm A Pinch of Butter blog started by Bladen County native
  • 1:16 pm Vidant Health and Cape Fear Valley Health form partnership to address chronic health conditions
  • 10:57 am Coming soon: World Series for two local baseball teams
  • 5:57 am Thoughts While Shaving for July 22
Bladen County Sports

West Bladen’s version of the “Road Warriors” take their third consecutive play-off road trip tonight as they travel 130 miles up the coast to Newport to battle the Croatan Cougars in a NCHSAA Class 2-A third round play-off game.

Coach Kim Cain’s Knights opened the play-offs at Ayden-Grifton last Wednesday and rode a 6-hit shutout by junior Jeremy Hunt to a 2-0 victory. Sophomore Trent West, senior catcher Colby McLean, senior Joseph Miller and junior Donald McCullum connected for one hit each for West Bladen in the first round win.

Saturday night Hunt and West combined to pitch a 2-hitter as West Bladen posted a 2-1 victory at Edenton Holmes. West pitched 4 innings of one-hit scoreless relief and struck out seven to pick up the win.

West also blasted the go-ahead home run over the scoreboard in left-field in the sixth inning. Sophomore Weston Pidgeon knocked in a run and batted 2-3, and junior Troy Edge singled and scored the first run. McLean and Hunt added singles to the 6-hit Knight attack.

Croatan, the No. 3 seed in the 2-A East, opened the play-offs with a 10-2 victory over East Bladen. Left-hander Gunnar Tolston fired a one-hitter and struck out 14 batters for the Cougars in that game. Tolston did suffer some control problems as he walked 8 and hit one batter in the game.

Bobby Staub batted 3-4 to lead the Croatan hitters, and teammate Fred Stewart hammered a triple and a single. Tolston also batted 2-4, and Jeremy White and Bailey Van Norsdall added a hit each.

In Friday night’s second round 4-0 Cougar win over East Duplin, Jon Ferry pitched a 2-hit shutout and struck out eight. Carl Bradshaw slammed a home run for Croatan.

The winner of Tuesday’s West Bladen/Croatan game advances to the Eastern semi-finals against the South Granville/North Lenoir winner.