South Boston News & Record
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Defensive errors can be extremely costly in playoff softball, and the Halifax County High School varsity softball team learned that lesson Monday.
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Dixie Majors punch ticket to World Series
SoVaNow.com / July 22, 2013The South Boston Majors rallied from the loser’s bracket and came back to secure a World Series berth after a wild run in the state tournament.
South Boston will play in North Charleston, S.C., Saturday, for a quick turnaround, in the Dixie Majors World Series.
South Boston defeated a gallant Mecklenburg squad, 11-5, in nine innings to earn the state title.
South Boston repeated as state champions after winning the crown last year. The locals had to rally after trailing for a while in the title game.
South Boston broke loose in the top of the ninth and scored six runs to clinch the World Series berth.
Up to that point, South Boston had gotten only one hit off Mecklenburg reliever Reid Duffer, who had five strikeouts in three previous innings.
In the top of the ninth, William Worley led off with a double. Joe Martin singled, putting runners on first and third. Ryan Yates singled in the eventual winning run to make it, 6-5.
Dylan Hendricks walked to load the bases. Derek Conner drew a bases loaded walk to force in the second run of the inning. Jacob New lofted an RBI sacrifice fly for the third run.
Two runs scored on an infield error off the bat of Andrew Hamlett. Ford Bradshaw then doubled, and Nick Anderson walked. Worley was hit by a pitch to force in the final run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mecklenburg got one base runner, Josh Balducci, on a walk. Derek Conner fanned the last batter to end the game. Mecklenburg scored twice in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Joey Jones walked, and Vince Cliborne singled. David Watson walked to load the bases. Jones scored the first run on a soft ground ball that was misfielded off the bat of Jeremy Balducci.
Then, Josh Balducci walked to force home the second run of the inning. The next scoring came in the bottom of the second, for Mecklenburg. Donte Eubanks tripled with one out, and Jones plated him with a single off South Boston starter Ryan Puryear.
Mecklenburg led 3-0 after three innings.
Charlie Mills from Mecklenburg held a shutout until the top of the fourth. At that point, South Boston got on the board.
Dylan Hendricks walked. With one out, Jacob New singled. Andrew Hamlett followed with an RBI single for the first run.
The second run scored on an error off the bat of Ford Bradshaw. South Boston trailed, 3-2.
Mecklenburg produced two runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 5-2.
Andrew Watson singled, and, with out, Mecklenburg drew three consecutive walks to get one run home. Derek Conner came on in relief after the last walk to Vince Cliborne, who had an RBI.
Then, Conner was charged with a balk to bring home Mecklenburg’s fifth run. Conner then fanned the no. 4 and 5 hitters with the bases loaded to limit the damage.
In the top of the fifth, William Worley was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
Ryan Yates drew a one-out walk.
At that point, Mecklenburg relieved, Matthew Hopgood came on to pitch. Dylan Hendricks singled to load the bases, and D. Conner produced the first run of the inning with a sacrifice bunt.
Jacob New produced a key hit, lining a two-run single to tie the contest at 5-5.
Reid Duffer of Mecklenburg and South Boston’s Conner locked into a pitching duel that lasted until the ninth inning. Mecklenburg had loaded the bases in the sixth and seventh inning with one out, and in both cases, Conner produced key strikeouts in both innings to escape trouble, backed by good defense.
South Boston finished with ten hits, with Jacob New, Ryan Yates and Dylan Hendricks leading the pack with two hits apiece.
Ford Bradshaw, William Worley, Joe Martin, and Andrew Hamlett had one hit apiece.
Jacob New collected three RBI.
Mecklenburg had six hits, with two each from Joey Jones and Andrew Watson. Dante Eubanks and Vince Cliborne also had hits.
As for the pitching totals, Puryear started, and went three and a third innings. He gave up five runs on four hits, with three strikeouts.
Derek Conner won the game in relief, going five and two-thirds innings. Conner had an outstanding stint, as he allowed no runs, just two hits and fanned seven.
For Mecklenburg, Mills started. He allowed four runs, on three hits, with three strikeouts.
Hopgood followed, and allowed one run on two hits. Reid Duffer worked until the last inning. Duffer allowed six runs and four hits. Duffer struck out five. Joey Jones finished on the mound for Mecklenburg and got the final two outs.
In earlier action, South Boston pounded Carroll County, 10-1, to reach Saturday night’s final.
Ford Bradshaw had a complete game on the mound. Bradshaw allowed only one run on four hits, with seven strikeouts. Bradshaw walked one batter and only threw 83 pitches in an outstanding effort.
Bradshaw capitalized on excellent defense behind him, with six web gems supporting him.
In the bottom of the first, South Boston got its first run, on a double from Bradshaw and an RBI single from Worley.
South Boston picked up another run in the bottom of the second. Hendricks singled, and Hamlett singled. The run scored on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Avery Anderson.
The fourth proved to be the big inning, as South Boston pushed seven runs across.
Jacob New walked, followed by a Ryan Puryear. With two outs, the first run scored on an outfield error.
Nick Anderson followed with a two-run single. Worley walked and Joe Martin cracked a two-run triple. Yates had an RBI single and Hendricks followed with an RBI double.
In the bottom of the sixth, Nick Anderson doubled and Yates had an RBI single.
South Boston had 11 hits, including two from Nick Anderson, Ryan Yates and Dylan Hendricks. South Boston also had hits from Bradshaw, Worley, Martin, Hamlett and Puryear.
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