Eagles whip Freedom Christian, 8-1

FAYETTEVILLE — East Bladen got a pitching gem from Ty Watkins and early runs to knock off Freedom Christian in the opening round of the Terry Sanford Easter Baseball Tournament, 8-0.

Sincere Smith got the Eagles rolling when he reached base on an error to open the game and came all the way around to score on Greyson Heustess’ RBI double to left. Heustess raced to third on a wild pitch and, after a walk, stole home as part of a double-steal for a 2-0 lead.

In the second stanza, Dan Tatum ripped a long triple to the right-center gap to open the inning, and came home on Quinton Bedsole’s run-scoring single. Smith followed with a single and Heustess reached on an error that filled the bags with Eagles — Watkins then delivered a two-run single for a 5-0 lead, and a Freedom Christian error brought home another run for a 6-0 advantage.

Bedsole stroked a single in the third inning and, after a fielder’s choice, two stolen bases produced an errant throw that brought home a run for East Bladen and extended the lead to 7-0.

The Eagles finished the scoring with a run in the fifth frame when Tatum sliced a double to left and Freddie Wooten brought him home with an RBI single.

Watkins hurled a complete-game, three-hitter on the hill for East Bladen, giving up just two walks and striking out five.

At the plate, Tatum was 2-for-3 with a double and triple; Bedsole was 2-for-3 with an RBI; Heustess had a double and RBI; Watkins had two RBI; and Wooten had an RBI.

The Eagles, now 4-6, will play Scotland County on Monday at 7 p.m. in the second round.