Sykes’ one-hitter gives Knights split

DUBLIN —Southpaw Ian Sykes followed up on his no-hitter of nearly two weeks earlier by throwing a one-hitter on Friday to lead West Bladen past visiting South Columbus, 2-1, and salvage a split of the Dixie Youth Pre-Majors twin bill.

In the opener, the Stallions jumped on the board with three runs in the first inning, thanks to a Knights error with two outs followed by a bases-loaded double.

West Bladen filled the bags with one out in the home half of the first behind singles by Weston Pidgeon and Trent West, and a walk to Logan West. Seth Bowen laced a two-run single to cut the deficit to 3-2 and Jonathan Robinson uncorked a double that looked like it would knot the score, but South Columbus managed to cut the run down at the plate.

South Columbus got both runs back in the second inning to go up 5-2, then added a run in the third and fifth frames to seal the 7-2 win.

For the game, Pidgeon was 2-for-3 at the plate and Bowen had both RBI.

On the hill, Jarrett Williams took the loss for West Bladen after going four-plus innings, allowing only one earned run and fanning four. Caleb Sholar finished up the fifth inning for the Knights.

In the nightcap, Sykes kept the Stallions off-balance and hitless through the first three innings — and West Bladen gave him a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Pidgeon smacked a single, Logan West walked, Williams lined a single that scored Pidgeon and, when Williams was trapped in a run-down trying to get to second, Logan West made a bee-line for home and beat the throw for a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, South Columbus managed to ruin Sykes’ no-hitter and shutout when he allowed a walk and, after a sacrifice bunt, the Stallions’ only hit of the game produced a run and cut the West Bladen lead to 2-1.

South Columbus again threatened in the fifth behind a walk and Knights error, but Sykes managed to keep the inning scoreless and seal the win.

At the plate, Williams was 2-for-2 with an RBI. Sykes improved to 2-0 with the one-hitter, striking out one and walking three.

West Bladen is now 3-3 in the summer league. They will face off against cross-county rival East Bladen on Tuesday for a double-header starting at 6 p.m.