DUBLIN — East Bladen pitcher Pierce Melvin handcuffed the Knights hitters on Tuesday, giving up just three hits and striking out 17 to help lead the Eagles to an 11-1 Three Rivers Conference win.
The victory improved East Bladen to 3-5, while West Bladen fell to 1-8 in conference and 1-9 overall.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Greyson Heustess singled, Xavier Wooten walked and Shy Pone singled to load the bases ahead of an RBI single by Melvin.
In the second, East Bladen got a long triple by Gabe Barber and a run-scoring single from Sincere Smith to open a 2-0 lead. But the Knights got the run back in the home half of the inning when Jake Butler walked and, after a stolen base by courtesy runner Shawn Oxendine and a passed ball that put him at third, Dawson Bryan stroked an RBI single to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
After two scoreless frames, East Bladen plated a run in the fifth behind a triple by Heustess and run-scoring single by Wooten to open a 3-1 edge. But the Eagles were just getting started.
In the sixth, East Bladen filled the bases on two walks and a single before Quinton Bedsole hit a sacrifice fly for one run. A hit batter reloaded the bases and Smith was walked to force home the second run. Heustess followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home the inning’s third run just before Wooten doubled and scored two to give the Eagles an 8-1 advantage.
West Bladen handed the visitors three more runs in the seventh, thanks to an error and four walks that pushed the Eagles’ lead to 11-1.
Melvin hurled the complete-game, three-hitter and gave up the one run, one walk and one hit batter.
At the plate, Heustess led East Bladen by going 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI; Wooten was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI; Barber was 2-for-3 with a triple; and Smith had two RBI
For West Bladen, Scott Bowen took the loss on the hill, working six innings and giving up 11 hits, four walks, one hit batter and six strikeouts. Trey Storms worked two-thirds of the seventh inning, giving up a hit and three walks; Nolan Bryant finished up, walking one. At the plate, Bryan had an RBI with one of the Knights’ three singles. Logan West and Trey Storms had the other two.