Valley falls to North Carolina 7-2, still two wins away from title
Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019
By Jonathan Bym
LUMBERTON, N.C. — The North Carolina state champions held Alabama to one hit over the final five innings of Tuesday’s rematch in the Dixie Youth Division II AAA World Series to stay alive in the tournament, but cause a predicament on the final day of the tournament with a 7-2 win.
The loss means three teams — Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama — each have a loss on their record. All three will play in the World Series’ final day Wednesday at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex, starting with a rematch of Alabama and North Carolina at 9:30 a.m. The winner of that game faces off at 1:30 p.m. with Virginia.
To avoid elimination, avenge a 3-2 loss in the second round of the tournament and also knock Alabama from the rank as the only undefeated team in the tournament, North Carolina’s pitching staff locked down after the first inning and let its heavy hitters drive in run support in the later frames.
Both teams were in a 2-2 deadlock after the first inning, and stayed in a tie until the top of the fourth inning when Cam Lewis drove in a run with a double to left-center field to help North Carolina go up 3-2. The following inning, North Carolina plated four runs, three coming off a bases-clearing double from Jayden Daniels to blow the contest open.
Both Lewis and Daniels combined to throw the complete-game, three-hitter in the win, while striking out 13 batters, including the 18th out to finish the game.
Alabama’s Cole House, Hunter Andrews and Jax Miller each had a single in the loss. Andrews’ first-inning single scored House, before he crossed home later in the frame.
Lewis put North Carolina up 2-0 in the top of the first with a two-run bomb for his second of the World Series.