FAYETTEVILLE — East Bladen battled right up until the last out Monday in the second r9und of the Bulldog Invitational Baseball Tournament at terry Sanford, but top-seeded Scotland County pulled out a 6-4 win to move into the championship game.
The game opened with two scoreless innings before the Scots scored three times in the third inning, partially courtesy of Eagles pitching, which issued four walks and hit a batter in the inning.
Scotland County tacked on a run in the fourth frame thanks to an East Bladen error to open a 4-0 advantage.
But the Eagles began chipping away.
In the home half of the fifth, Dan Tatum reached on an infield single and Freddie Wooten brought him home with an RBI single. Sincere Smith roped a run-scoring single moments later, then stole second and came home on Greyson Heustess’ fielder’s choice to climb back within 4-3.
The Eagles knotted the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tatum smashed a solo home run to left.
Scotland County answered with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh for a 6-4 edge, but East Bladen wasn’t done.
The Eagles filled the bases with two out after singles by Wooten and Ty Watkins, along with a walk to Heustess, but the comeback died there when Brady Hollingsworth’s hard-hit line drive carried into the centerfielder’s glove to end the game.
Xavier Wooten started on the hill for the Eagles, going four innings and allowing four runs on just one hit, five walks, a hit batter and striking out six. Freddie Wooten finished the game and absorbed the loss after going three innings and giving up two runs on three hits, a walk and fanning four.
Freddie Wooten led East Bladen at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI; Smith was 2-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base; Watkins was 2-for-4; Tatum had the solo home run; and Heustess had an RBI.
The Eagles will play Southern Lee on Tuesday at 1 p.m. in a consolation game at Terry Sanford.