ELIZABETHTOWN — Pierce Melvin’s bases-loaded triple in the third inning Friday proved to be the difference in a 5-3 East Bladen win over visiting West Bladen in the Three Rivers Conference regular-season finale.
The Eagles finished up the conference schedule with an eight-game winning streak — including the make-up win against East Columbus — and now stand at 10-8 in the conference, 11-10 overall. The Knights’ season concluded at 3-15 in the conference, 3-19 overall.
West Bladen opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first inning when Dawson Bryan and Logan West walked ahead of Scott Bowen’s RBI double. Moments later, Bowen’s courtesy runner, Shaun Oxendine, scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles responded with a run in the home half of the first behind a single by Greyson Heustess and a West Bladen error that allowed him to come home, cutting the gap to 2-1.
East Bladen knotted the game with a run in the sceond when Melvin singled and Zach Meares ripped a run-scoring double.
In the third inning, the Eagles would take a 5-2 lead when Heustess walked and Xavier Wooten hit into a fielder’s choice; Shy Pone smacked a single and Brady Hollingsworth walked to fill the bases with Eagles — just ahead of Melvin’s three-run triple to the left-center gap.
The visitors began a rally in the top of the fourth behind an East Bladen error and an RBI double by Bryan to cut the deficit to 5-3. But the rally ended there.
West Bladen loaded the bases in the fifth, but could not score. East Bladen loaded the bases in three straight innings without scoring.
Melvin earned the win on the hill for the Eagles, working 4.2 innings and giving up four hits, seven walks and striking out four. Freddie Wooten earned the save with 2.1 innings of relief, giving up three hits and striking out one.
At the plate for East Bladen, Melvin was 2-for-2 with triple and three RBI; Meares had a double and an RBI.
Bowen took the loss for West Bladen on the mound, going four innings and giving up five hits, three walks and fanning three. West finished up, going two innings and giving up a hit, three walks, a hit batter and striking out four.
Bowen was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and RBI; Bryan had a double and RBI.