DUBLIN — West Bladen’s Dixie Majors baseballers jumped all over South Columbus in the first game of a twin bill on Tuesday and earned a 6-2 win. But in the nightcap, the Knights fought back from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to … kiss their sisters after a 5-5 tie was left on the scoreboard.
West Bladen is now 6-9-1 on the summer season with two games left.
In Tuesday’s opener, the Knights loaded the bases in the bottom of the first when C.J. Singletary singled and both Clay Allen and Liston Britt were hit by pitches. Matt Wells then worked a walk for an RBI, Travis Bowen beat out an infield dribbler for an RBI and Trevor Lesane knocked in a run with a fielder’s choice.
The Stallions, who changed pitchers just six batters into the game, were quickly in the hole, 4-0.
After a scoreless second, the Stallions threatened when a diving attempt on a line drive to the outfield was missed and went for a leadoff triple. One out later, a walk put runners at the corners, but the Knights quickly snuffed the rally when the runner at first stole second and, on the throw, the runner at third broke home — but the return throw nailed him at the plate.
West Bladen added a run in the bottom of the inning when Lesane singled, stole a base and scored after a passed ball and a groundout by Kevin Rice.
The Knights tacked on another run in the fourth when Singletary led off with an infield single and an error put Allen on behind him. Moments later another Stallions error allowed Singletary to score to put West Bladen up, 6-1.
South Columbus nicked the Knights with a run in the fifth, but could muster no further damage.
Mason Hester hurled four innings to earn the win on the hill for the Knights, giving up one unearned run on two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Rice finished the game for West Bladen with one inning of work, giving up a run on two hits and a walk.
In the second game, the Stallions broke out on top with three runs in the first frame. But West Bladen battled back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. A double by Allen got things started and an error allowed John Waldrop to reach. A second error brought Allen home before Britt singled and Matt Wells was hit by a pitch to load the bases. a fielder’s choice by Bowen scored the inning’s second run for the Knights. Patrick Allen singled to load the bases, but West Bladen could do no more damage and trailed, 3-2.
After a scoreless second, South Columbus scored a run in the third, but the Knights got it back in the home half when Rice was hit by a pitch and was erased on a fielder’s choice by Wells. An error and a wild pitch moved Wells to third and a single by Bowen drove him home with one out. Allen followed with a fielder’s choice and Colby McLean walked, but both were left stranded.
In the fourth, West Bladen put the Stallions on the ropes again. Walks to Colby Lewis and Justin Ruffin got it started and, with one out, Britt hit into a fielder’s choice. Wells followed with a walk to load the bases and Bowen worked a walk for an RBI and kept the bags filled — but they were all left stranded with the game knotted at 4-4.
South Columbus pushed a run across in the fifth for a 5-4 edge, but West Bladen tied the game without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fifth when consecutive one-out walks to Rice, Lewis and Ruffin — sandwiched around a wild pitch that brought Lewis home — produced the tying run. But the Knights couldn’t bring the winning run home and the game was called a tie.
Knights’ rally falls short
In Tabor City on Monday, the Stallions of South Columbus manufactured a comfortable lead of 7-0 through five innings, but had to fend off a West Bladen rally over the final two frames to earn a 7-4 win.
South Columbus scored six runs over the first four innings against West Bladen starter Lucas McNeill, who helped the Stallions with five walks. South Columbus added an unearned run in the fifth against reliever Mason Hester for the 7-0 edge.
That’s when West Bladen went to work.
In the top of the sixth, Matt Wells ripped a double and scored on a Travis Bowen double. Parker Allen drove Bowen home with a single and a groundout by Hester brought Parker home to trim the deficit to 7-3.
In the seventh, Allen drove home a run for West Bladen’s fourth run of the game, but the rally fizzled there.
The Knights’ 10-hit attack was led by Clay Allen, who had three of those hits, along with Parker Allen and Travis Bowen, who each had two hits.