"Sunday night's game was much tougher and the win harder to get because Whiteville East played some good ball," said Bladen County Coach-Pitch Head Coach Eric Ransom. "In the book, our boys did not get as many hits Sunday night as they did in the first round Saturday night, but that was because Whiteville East made some good defensive plays."
Bladen County was the home team in the contest, and they knew they had to come on strong on the field in the top of the first. Whiteville East got two runners on with one hit and using one Bladen error. Then, Bladen's pitcher/player, Cade Ransom, snagged a hard hit line drive and caught the runner on first off base for the double play. By retiring the side with his double play, Ransom dashed Whiteville East's hopes of scoring first and pumped the Bladen boys up to the max.
Bladen County got on the board first by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning, using one hit and capatilizing on four Whiteville East errors. Brandon Thompson led off for Bladen when he reached on an error that saw him go into second standing up. Devan Stocks hit a ground rule double that scored Thompson. Sincere Smith reached on an error that scored Stocks, and Cade Ransom also reached on an error that scored S. Smith. Kaleb Heup hit a ground out sacrifice that scored Ransom. After one complete inning Bladen County led, 4-0.
Despite getting two runners on in the top of the second, Whiteville East could not get a run.
Bladen County was again strong at the plate in the bottom of the second. Scott Bowen reached on an error but was out at second when Weston Pidgeon reached on a fielder's choice. Dayvon Swindell reached on an error that scored Pidgeon. Kam Rogers reached on an error to put him at first and Swindell at third. Jonathan Robinson doubled to deep center field, scoring Swindell and Rogers. After two, Bladen County led, 7-0.
Whiteville East scored their only three runs of the night in the third inning. They used one single, one double, and four Bladen errors to get on the board.
In the bottom of the third for Bladen, Sincere Smith singled and scored when Cade Ransom reached on an error. Kaleb Heup reached on an error that scored Ransom. After three innings, Bladen led, 9-3.
In the top of the fourth for Whiteville East, the first batter hit a rope that got through the Bladen infield. Bladen's right fielder, Kam Rogers, fell to the ground to keep the ball in front of him. Then, Rogers made a perfect throw from his knees to get the ball back in to second base, where Bladen shortstop Sincere Smith stood waiting to receive the throw. S. Smith then chased the runner all the way back to first and made a diving tag at the last minute to get him out.
"Sincere's a great defensive player," Coach Ransom stated. "If there was any doubt, he proved it on that play!"
Bladen County added another run to the board in the bottom of the fourth when Scott Bowen tripled to deep left field and scored on a sacrifice by Weston Pidgeon. After four innings, Bladen County led, 10-3. They would hold on to this lead for the next inning and a half to claim the victory.
"Our boys worked out their jitters and came together tonight to play good ball," said Coach Ransom. "When you are in the winners bracket, the competion steps up a notch, but our boys from Bladen County proved that they are up for the challenge."
Bladen County will take on Nakina Monday night at 7p.m., and after that game, only one team in the tournament will remain undefeated. The double elinimation tournament will continue in Dublin through Thursday night of this week.
"Everybody in Bladen County who enjoys the game of baseball should come to Dublin to see how impressive these little boys are," concluded Coach Ransom. "It's absolutely amazing to see how talented they all are."