LAKE WACCAMAW — East Bladen got a big game on the road from Alex Coates and Tanner Meares on Tuesday to hand East Columbus a 12-8 Dixie Pre-Majors Baseball loss.
The win improved the Eagles to 4-1 in the summer season.
East Bladen took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Coates led off with a single and worked his way around the bases, but the Gators knotted the game in the home half of the inning.
After a scoreless second and third, the Eagles erupted for four runs in the fourth frame. A single, hit batter and walk loaded the bases and another hit batter brought in a run. A combination of walks, errors and wild pitches allowed three more runs to score to give East Bladen a 5-1 edge.
East Columbus scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to creep within 5-4, but the Eagles tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth inning thanks to a Gators error that allowed both runs to score.
One inning later, East Bladen exploded for five runs behind a two-run single by Nikita Owens, an RBI double by Meares, a sacrifice fly by Eric Chauncey and an error that plated the final run — giving the Eagles a 12-4 lead.
The Gators managed to plate four runs in the bottom of the fifth to climb within 12-8, but the rally ended there.
Coates earned the win in the bump with five innings of work, and Sincere Smith earned the save by pitching the final two innings in relief.
At the plate, Meares was 3-for-4 with the RBI double and Coates was 2-for-3. Each scored three runs for East Bladen. Owens also had a pair of RBI for the Eagles.
Knights fall, 7-5
In Southport on Tuesday, West Bladen couldn’t hang on to a lead late in the game and fell to South Brunswick in Dixie Pre-Majors action, 7-5.
The loss drops the Knights to 5-3 this summer.
After the Cougars had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning, West Bladen rallied for four runs in the fourth frame when Chandler Lennon tripled and scored on an RBI ground ball from Hunter Pait that South Brunswick mishandled and allowed Pait to go to second. Seth Britt reached when his grounder was misplayed and, after Britt stole second, both runners came home behind a two-run single from Ray Jones. A throwing error added the next run.
The Cougars battled back to knot the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, but West Bladen regained the lead in the sixth when Lennon reached on a double and came home on an infield hit by Britt.
But the 5-4 edge would not hold up.
South Brunswick rallied for three runs in the home half of the sixth inning, then held West Bladen at bay in the seventh to steal the game.
Jones pitched the first four innings for the Knights and didn’t figure in the decision. Caleb Sholar hurled the final two innings and suffered the loss for West Bladen.
At the plate, Lennon led the Knights with two hits — a triple and double — and Jones had two RBI.