LUMBERTON — To open the tournament, the sixth-seeded St. Pauls baseball team used four RBIs from sophomore Caleb Henderson to pick up the upset over No. 3 Red Springs in a 9-7 win.
After building up a 6-2 lead through four innings, St. Pauls (5-7) had to hold off a late Red Springs (8-5) charge thanks in large part to Aaron Revels on the mound and late insurance runs.
In the second, third and fourth innings, the Bulldogs scored two runs each frame to jump out to an early lead. A wild pitch and a Stephen Johnson RBI double each scored a run in the second inning to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Erikson Emmanuel singled up the middle to score one run and another crossed in the next at bat with a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-0 in the third inning. In the fourth, Henderson scored two runs with a double to make it a 6-1 game.
Red Springs answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, starting with a Jaylen Mack sacrifice fly and then with a Gabriel Locklear RBI single followed by a Darren Bowen RBI double.
The top of the order for St. Pauls followed in the sixth inning by scoring three runs after the Red Springs’ rally with two runs scoring off the bat of Henderson. He scored later in the frame on a steal and a throwing error.
Henderson led his team with two hits in the game, while Mack, Locklear and Bowen each added two hits for the Red Devils. Locklear had two RBIs in the loss.
St. Pauls moves on to play Fairmont tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the semifinals and Red Springs takes on South Robeson at 10 a.m. in the consolation round.
Walk-off bunt lifts Fairmont to semifinals
Both Fairmont and South Robeson struggled to generate offense in their first-round meeting, but the second-seeded Golden Tornadoes found a way to score a run in extra innings with a 1-0 win over the Mustangs.
With both teams putting up goose eggs on the scoreboard through seven innings against the top pitching from either side, Fairmont (9-3) took advantage in the bottom of the eighth when No. 7 South Robeson (2-10) starter Zack Carter was taken off the mound and Cameron Hunt came in relief. The heart of the lineup delivered quickly after loading the bases with one out for Mason Locklear, whose sacrifice bunt scored Floyd to end the contest.
Carter struck out eight in the game for South Robeson. Seth Thorndyke got the start for Fairmont and struck out six in five innings, and was relieved by Floyd, who fanned six in three innings.
Qintin Hunt led all hitters with two hits for the Mustangs, along with hits from Cody Scott and Jeremiah Lowery. Floyd, Marcus Ransom, Jayden Freeman and Logan Boeshore each had a hit for Fairmont.
Hoke routs West Bladen to advance
With eight combined runs scoring in the third, fourth and fifth innings, Hoke was able to throttle eighth-seeded West Bladen in a 10-3 win in the opening round.
Hoke takes on Purnell Swett in tomorrow’s 7 p.m. semifinals. West Bladen plays Lumberton at 1 p.m.
Ryan Taylor had three RBIs for the Bucks in the fifth inning as he cleared the bases with a double. Ben Chavis added two RBIs and Kody Russel, Will Bryant and Logan Goins each added an RBI in the win.