FAYETTEVILLE — After a first-round win on Monday in the J. Hoyt Warren/Wayne Edwards Invitational, the Eagles of East Bladen found the going a bit tougher on Tuesday, dropping games to Gray’s Creek and Hoke County.
“We just don’t have the pitching to go up against these good teams,” said East Bladen coach Russell Priest. “We were facing pitchers throwing in the mid-80s, and it’s tough to catch up with that.”
In the second-round game, the Eagles dropped a close one to Gray’s Creek, 7-4, when the Bears scored four runs across the final two innings.
East Bladen scored in the first for a 1-0 lead, but Gray’s Creek roughed up pitcher Alex Coates for three runs in the third. The Eagles scored a pair in the fourth to knot the game and added a run in the fifth to take a 4-3 advantage. But the Bears scored three in the fifth and one in the sixth to seal the win.
Matt Massengiil had a pair of hits and two RBI for East Bladen.
In the fifth-place game, East Bladen lost a 10-4 verdict to Hoke County.
After the Bucks had taken a 2-0 lead in the first, the Eagles knotted it in the second inning. Hoke County took a 4-2 lead in the fourth, but East Bladen knotted it up at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. And then the bottom fell out for the Eagles, as Hoke County battered East Bladen pitching for two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
“We had our chances, especially in the first game, but couldn’t get they key hit,” Priest said. “But we’re happy the kids could get up here and play in this.”
Massengill, who had two hits and two RBI in each of the three games, and Kyle Tatum, who gunned down six base-stealers in the three games, were each named to the All-Tournament team for East Bladen.