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FOUR OAKS — South Johnston won the Tar Heel Leagues 15-and-under Baseball State Tournament on July 28, topping Jamesville 13-1 in the final game to take the title.
South Johnston went undefeated in the tournament, clobbering Chocowinity 13-1 on July 25, crushing Lenoir 11-2 on July 26 and topping Jamesville 7-3 on July 27 to advance to the final.
The team is made up almost entirely of players from South Johnston High School, which has Trojans baseball coach Aaron Parnell excited for the future of his program.
“A championship within itself is special,” Parnell said. “To go out and win one together will hopefully push forward to winning one in the school season. In a couple years that’s going to be our varsity team, so now that they know what it takes to win one, I’m hoping it’ll prepare them to win some more with us. ”
Erwin looked solid in a 6-4 win over Louisburg in the opening round, but that win was followed with a couple of tough losses that eliminated it from the contest.
Dillon Faircloth scored the winning run in the first game in Smithfield in the bottom of the sixth on a wild pitch after reaching base with a leadoff walk. Nathan Barefoot added the final insurance run to give Erwin the 6-4 margin.
Faircloth got the win on the mound, giving up four runs on two hits while striking out five.
Shay Jackson was the starter on the bump for Erwin, and he cruised through the first three innings, yielding no runs on no hits and just one walk while striking out three.
Jeremiah Streeter came in to pitch the seventh and got the final three outs for the save, punching out two in the process.
Carter Daughtry led Erwin at the plate with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Faircloth had one hit, an RBI and a run scored. Jake Tyndall had one hit and two runs scored. Hayden Campbell had one hit. Barefoot and C.J. Herring each added one run scored.
Erwin got off to a steady start, scoring one run in each of the first three innings. But after Jackson came out in the fourth, Louisburg found some hope as it rallied for three runs to tie it up 3-3. Erwin continued its steady production with another run in the fourth to go ahead, before Louisburg tied it up again with a run in the top of the sixth.
The win advanced Erwin into the winners bracket, where the team played Jamesville on July 26 in Clayton. After topping host North Johnston County on Thursday, Jamesville pushed on to beat Erwin 10-2 on Friday. That put Erwin in an elimination game in Smithfield that afternoon with Chocowinity, which the Erwin team lost 17-2.