Smith hurls no-hitter for East Bladen


LAKE WACCAMAW –East Bladen kissed its sister in the Dixie Youth Pre-Majors summer season-opener on Tuesday with a 5-5 knot against East Columbus, but then came back with a 7-0 win in the nightcap of the double-header behind a five-inning no-hitter by Sincere Smith.

The Eagles got on the board quickly in the second game when walks to Kyle Tatum and Xavier Wooten were followed by a two-run double by Ty Watkins in the top of the first inning.

After two scoreless innings, East Bladen added five runs in the fourth frame that all but put the game away. A walk to Wooten and single by Watkins put Eagles at the corners ahead of a sacrifice fly by Greyson Heustess for a 3-0 lead. Devon Stocks singled to put runners at the corners again, and Spencer Scott lofted a sacrifice fly to score a fourth run. Stocks later scored on a passed ball for a 5-0 lead.

After a walk to Deondre Newkirk, Nick Collins was plunked with a pitch and Smith helped his own cause by crushing a two-run double to seal the win.

Smith struck out nine Gators.

In the opener, an error scored East Bladen’s first run and Quinton Bedsole laced an RBI single in the second for a 2-0 lead.

Another error by the Gators put a runner on in the third and Wooten scored on yet another East Columbus miscue later in the inning for a 3-0 edge.

In the fourth, Smith walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Tatum — who then stole second and scored on a wild pitch moments later.

East Columbus, however, after plating a run in the third, went on to score four runs over the final two innings to claim a 5-5 tie.

“We played well in both games,” said East Bladen coach Ritchie Priest. “Sincere pitched a really good game for us.”

After a double-header at Whiteville on Thursday, East Bladen will host Lumberton in a double-header on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m.

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