DUNN — A five run third inning and stellar pitching from Alex Coates led East Bladen past perennial power Midway on Tuesday, 12-3, in the Four County Conference opener.
The Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, but East Bladen responded with five runs behind an RBI single by Kyle Tatum and two-run single from Nikita Owens.
Midway scored a run in the home half of the third, but the Eagles got the run back in the fourth when Sincere Smith scored on an error for a 6-2 lead.
In the fifth, the Eagles increased the lead to 7-2 when Deondre Newkirk smacked an RBI single before Midway nicked Coates for its final run in the bottom of the fifth.
East Bladen put the game away with two runs in the sixth thanks to a two-run error, then tacked on three runs in the seventh behind a RBI singles by Tatum and Owens, along with a sacrifice fly by Xavier Wooten.
Tatum led the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Smith was 2-for-3 and Owens was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Coates, 3-0, earned the win on the hill, hurling a complete-game six-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
West wins big
The Knights cracked 15 hits and Jeremy Hunt hurled a complete-game shutout in the Four County Conference opener on Tuesday, as West Bladen earned an 8-0 win over Union in Rose Hill.
The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI double by Trent West, then upped the advantage to 5-0 in the third behind an RBI double by Hunt, RBI double by Scott Bowen and RBI single by Weston Pidgeon.
In the sixth, the Knights put the game away with three runs on an RBI single from West, and RBI single by Troy Edge and RBI from Bowen.
West was 3-for-3 at the plate for West Bladen with two doubles and two RBI. Bowen was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Hunt gave up just two hits on the mound to earn the win.
Lady Knights explode
West Bladen put 15 runs on the board Tuesday and took a 22-1 Four County Conference win over Union in Rose Hill.
The Lady Knights opened the game with five runs in the top of the first behind RBI singles from Laikyn Pait and Sophia Singletary before the explosion in the second inning — an inning that featured five hit batters, three walks, an error and seven singles en route to a 20-0 advantage.
West Bladen tacked on two runs in the third for a 22-0 lead before Union scored its lone run in the home half.
Singletary was 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI, and she also earned the win from the circle with a complete-game three-hitter with four strikeouts in the run-rule shortened outing.
Pait was 2-for-2 with three RBI, while Conner Brisson was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Kathryn Schultz and Jenna Dove each had two RBI.
Lady Eagles fall
Midway slugged five extra-base hits Tuesday en route to a 16-0 whitewashing of visiting East Bladen in the Four County Conference opener for both teams.
The Lady Raiders plated four runs in the bottom of the first, then added four more in the second for an 8-0 lead.
Three runs in the third inning gave Midway an 11-0 advantage, but a five-run fourth put the game away and allowed the game to end on the run rule after the Lady Eagles went scoreless in the fifth.
East Bladen was handcuffed on just two hits, singles by Miller Heustess and Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson.