Watkins leads Eagles past E.E. Smith

FAYETTEVILLE — The East Bladen trio of Kyle Tatum, Ty Watkins and Xavier Wooten combined to go 6-for-7 at the plate and drive in seven runs on Saturday, while Watkins hurled a complete-game one-hitter against E.E. Smith to win the Eagles’ opening round game in the annual J. Hoyt Warren/Wayne Edwards Invitational, 10-0.

The win improved East Bladen to 6-2 and earned a berth in the second round on Monday against Scotland County.

The Eagles came out of the gate early in the game played at Douglas Byrd High. A pair of walks got things started in the bottom of the first and an infield single by Tatum drove in the first run. A wild pitch moved the two remaining runners along and both scored on a single by Watkins for a 3-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, a hit batter and error put two Eagles on base ahead of a passed ball that moved the runners into scoring position and the next two Eagles hitters made E.E. Smith pay — a groundout by Watkins brought home a run and a single by Nikita Owens extended the advantage to 5-0.

In the fourth frame, Quiton Bedsole opened things for East Bladen with a single, went to third on two wild pitches and scampered home when the throw to third went awry. Deandre Newkirk then reached on a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and came home when Tatum laced an RBI single for a 7-0 lead.

The Eagles iced the game on the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth inning by scoring three runs. Watkins launched a triple and Wooten smashed a hot RBI single for the first run; Alex Coates reached on an infield singe and the Eagles filled the bags when Devan Stocks singled. Sincere Smith followed with a double that drove in two and sealed the win.

Tatum was 2-for-2 with two RBI for East Bladen, and Wooten matched those stats. Watkins was 2-for-3 with the triple and three RBI, while Smith added the two-run double.

On the hill, Watkins, 1-0, retired the Golden Bulls in order through every inning but the third. He gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out seven to earn the win.

comments powered by Disqus