LELAND — The West Bladen Knights took another step toward a third straight berth in the Dixie Pre-Majors World Series with a 6-4 win over Columbus County on Sunday.
The win improves West Bladen to 15-5 overall and puts the Knights in the state championship game on Monday against the winner of an earlier elimination game between Duplin County and Columbus County.
West Bladen opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Seth Britt walked, stole second and scored on a single by Trent West. An error sent West to second and Chandler Lennon ripped an RBI single for a 2-0 edge.
In the second inning, the Knights added two more runs when Donald McCullum laced a single, Ray Jones dropped a sacrifice bunt and, after a passed ball sent McCullum to third and Harrett Williams walked then stole second, and errant throw to throw brought home both runners for a 4-0 lead.
Columbus County scored three times in the fourth inning, but West Bladen answered with two runs in the home half of the fifth. Scott Bowen hit a double, West walked and a passed ball put both runners in scoring position and another Columbus County error brought both runners home for a 6-3 advantage.
Columbus County added a run in the sixth.
West went six innings on the bump for West Bladen to earn the win. He gave up five hits and struck out seven.