RED SPRINGS — The Red Springs baseball team waited until the sixth inning on Tuesday night to score the deciding run in a 10-0 mercy-rule victory over South Robeson, and head coach Chris Howell wishes they had done so sooner.
“The problem is, this is the second game we’ve had at 9-0. It seems like we can’t get it over in the fifth inning,” Howell said. “What that’s doing is hurting our pitcher, throwing extra pitches that he shouldn’t have to throw.”
Darren Bowen didn’t seem to be affected on the mound by that delay, holding the Mustangs to just one hit and registering nine strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
He was backed by a balanced offensive attack that produced 11 hits. Tyee Sampson went 2-for-2 at the plate with four RBIs and a walk, while Jayshawn Carthen posted a 2-for-3 clip with a walk.
“I felt really good playing against my old team,” Sampson said. “I was a little nervous, but just treated it like any other game.”
Carthen and Phillip Locklear helped end the game in the sixth inning with the Red Devils (5-1, 4-1 TRC) leading 9-0.
With no outs, Carthen knocked a double into the left field gap. Locklear followed his lead by registering a double of his own to the same gap, giving Carthen enough time to round the bases and score the game-winning run.
“Coach was hard on us (about waiting to hit the mercy rule),” Sampson said. “We finally had someone come up and we ended it.”
Carthen has been playing a number of different roles for the Red Devils this season, but his contribution against the Mustangs made a big difference.
“Moving up and down the lineup, I feel good because it’s helping my team,” Carthen said.
Locklear put an end to the game after helping the Red Devils score their first run in the first inning. Locklear hit a ground ball with the bases loaded, and an attempt to force Carthen out at second was unsuccessful. Colton Locklear scored on the play.
Sampson notched a two-RBI single in the next at bat.
That was the first of many rallies for the Red Devils against the three different pitchers that took the mound for South Robeson (2-4, 2-3 TRC) over the course of the game. Cameron Hunt, Austin Hunt and Jordan Barfield all threw for the Mustangs.
“We executed a little bit better coming off a tough loss (at East Columbus),” Howell said. “We came out here aggressive from the beginning, so I’m glad they were able to do it.”
Jeritt Taylor increased the Red Devils’ lead to 4-0 with an RBI triple in the third inning. Jaylen Mack drove in two more runs for Red Springs with a single in the fourth.
A fifth-inning single by Sampson plated Locklear and Carthen. Mack stretched the lead to 9-0 with an RBI single.
“As long as Darren kept the ball down and had the boys swinging, our defense backed him up,” Carthen said. “As long as we play as a team, and play how we did tonight, we should be capable of beating anybody in the conference.”
Cody Scott provided the only base hit for the Mustangs with a double in the first inning.
South Robeson has been outscored 31-1 in its last four games, going 1-4 in that stretch.
Fairmont softball flies past Eagles
ELIZABETHTOWN — The Fairmont softball team plated eight runs in its half of the eighth inning to claim a 13-6 win on the road at East Bladen.
Twins Kaylee and Emma McMillan both went 4-for-5 with two RBIs each in the win. Kaylee also struck out five batters to pick up the pitching victory.
Kaitlyn Hunt had a Grand Slam in the top of the eighth inning and Mya Hunt went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.
In other scores from around the county: Fairmont baseball got a 16-12 win over East Bladen and the Scotland baseball team topped Purnell Swett 6-2.
Lumberton soccer nets win
FAYETTEVILLE — The Lumberton girls soccer team won 4-1 at Seventy-First on Tuesday.
Brittany Ward scored two goals and Christina Dickerson and Courtlyn McCellan scored the other two in the win.
Benton shuts down St. Pauls
CERRO GORDO — Cole Benton hit two home runs and threw a five-inning no-hitter in West Columbus’ 11-0 win at home against St. Pauls.
Benton hit a two-run homer in the second inning and a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth.
In softball, West Columbus used a walk-off Grand Slam to beat St. Pauls 9-5 in 10 innings.
Danielle Gray went 2-for-5, Kenija McGougan had a double and an RBI and Braxtin Kinlaw added three hits. Brianna Brewer struck out 11 batters.
Purnell Swett softball grabs first league win
PEMBROKE — The Purnell Swett softball team picked up its first Sandhills Athletic Conference win by a 6-2 score at home against Scotland.
The Lady Rams were led at the plate by Madison Strickland, who had a two-run home run in the third inning, collected four RBIs and Magan Barton and Katlyn Jones both had an RBI. JaiLeana Deese held the Lady Scots to one hit in the contest.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.