West Bladen nips St. Pauls in slugfest, 16-15

DUBLIN — With their head coach attending the wake for Freedom Christian Academy softball coach Eddie Dees, who passed away recently after a battle with cancer, West Bladen went out and outlasted a pesky St. Pauls baseball team on Wednesday, 16-15, in Dixie Youth Pre-Majors action.

The win improved the Knights to 7-4-2 overall and 7-4-1 in the league.

West Bladen coach Kim Cain wasn’t at the game, but said “just about everyone pitched” and “several players had good games at the plate.”

Leading the way for the Knights was Scott Bowen, who went 4-for-4 with three doubles. Cain said a handful of others had multiple hits in the game.

West Bladen was scheduled to play the regular-season finale on Thursday at West Columbus, but the Vikings were unable to field a team.

“I’m hoping to schedule a game with them next week,” Cain said. “And if we can, maybe get another game or two before the state tournament,”

West Bladen is the three-time defending Dixie Youth Pre-Majors state champions and competed in the World Series in each of the three years.

“It’s hard to say how we may do this time around,” Cain said. “We’re not really young, but we’ve got inexperience at some positions.

“And we don’t know yet what other teams might get into the state tournament,” he added. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

The Dixie Youth Pre-Majors state tournament will be held at North Brunswick High School in Leland starting Saturday, July 9. The World Series will again be held in Guntersville, Ala., from July 30 through Aug. 3.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

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