Action kicked off at Clinton High School on Tuesday afternoon in the annual Jimmy Raynor Baseball Tournament. After a series of scheduling changes, the three teams that are participating in this year’s tournament are Clinton, East Duplin and James Kenan.
James Kenan and East Duplin went head to head to get things started in the afternoon game at Clinton. The battle was a low-scoring affair that saw the Tigers outlast East Duplin in a 3-1 victory.
James Kenan struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning to claim a 2-0 lead. The teams exchanged a couple of scoreless innings before James Kenan added one more run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-0. East Duplin finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning but they could’t get any closer as the Tigers held on for the 3-1 win.
East Duplin had more success at the plate, outhitting James Kenan seven hits to six, but the Panthers couldn’t string together the runs to get back into the game.
Leading East Duplin was Trey Price with three hits and a run scored. Devian Taylor was credited with that RBI. Ty Jenkins, Nick Maready, Macon Smith, and Jackson Murray also had hits for the Panthers.
Leading James Kenan was Ken Avent III and Cole Pridgen, each with two hits and a run scored. Avent also contributed an RBI. Rounding out the batting was John Avent and Desmond Tillery each picking up a hit apiece. Braxton Bland contributed an RBI.
Clinton takes nightcap
In the nightcap, East Duplin turned right around and was faced with taking on the Dark Horses. Clinton was the winner in this game, 7-5, to hand the Panthers their second loss of the day. East Duplin scored first in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Dark Horses answered right back in the top of the second, picking up a run to tie the game at 1-1.
After a scoreless third, Clinton broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs to take a 4-1 lead. Right back came East Duplin as the Panthers responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the same inning to make it 4-3.
Each team picked up a run in the fifth to advance the score to 5-4 before Clinton added two more in the top of the sixth to make it 7-4.
Again, East Duplin answered in the bottom of the sixth, picking up another run to make it 7-5, but neither team could score in the seventh inning and Clinton hung on for the win.
Leading the way for the Dark Horses was Zack Parker and Charles Jordan with three hits and an RBI apiece. Andrew Thornton, Skyler Cannady, Trey Warren and Joshua Brewington also each added one hit to give Clinton 10 total for the game.
Once again, East Duplin outhit their opponent — they had 13 this game — but they couldn’t convert them to runs on the scoreboard.
Tanner Mobley, Josiah Press, Ty Jenkins, Tyree Brinson and Jackson Murray all had two hits for the Panthers. Ty Blizzard, Smith, and Maready each had one hit for East Duplin. Smith had two RBIs, while Mobley, Jenkins and Brinson all had one each.
With the two losses, East Duplin drops to 11-6 on the season.
Clinton and James Kenan were set to conclude the tournament on Wednesday night.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected]