Central broke open a close game by scoring a combined 10 runs in the fourth and fifth frames to lock up the fourth and final playoff slot in Region 4-AA baseball with a 14-3 win over host North Central last Friday night.
In order for NC to have earned a berth in the state tournament, the Knights had to beat Central on Friday and then, win at Indian Land tonight. Robbie Cash’s troops will carry a 3-6 conference ledger into this evening’s contest with the Warriors.
Central jumped to a quick lead in Boonetown on Friday by scoring twice in the top of the first. NC answered with a run in the bottom portion of the frame as Cam Holley reached on a leadoff walk and would later score on a John Bowers two-out single to center.
After the Eagles scored another pair in the second to extend their lead to 4-1, the Knights cut it in half with a run in the third. Stephen Barrett and Tyler Bowers worked their way aboard on consecutive walks to put runners on first and second with no outs. Alex Tarlton loaded the bases when he drew a two-out walk which was followed by a walk issued to Michael Williamson to bring Barrett home as NC drew within 4-2.
The roof started caving in on the Knights when Central put up four runs in the fourth before hanging up a six spot in the fifth to extend the lead to 14-2.
The Knights scored one more run in the fifth as Tyler Bowers smacked a leadoff double to right center, took third on a Change Mangum single and scored on an error off a ball hit by Williamson.
North Central was held to four hits in its final home game with Tyler Bowers, John Bowers, Tyler Steele and Chance Mangum having one each.