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BATTLE TO THE BITTER END: Kinston eliminates Eagles from Class 1A playoffs

The Pleasant Home Eagles put up a strong fight, but swept by Kinston on Thursday in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs in Pleasant Home.

GAME ONE

KINSTON 4,

PLEASANT HOME 1

In the first game of the day, the Bulldogs got a strong pitching performance from Aaron Driggers to knock off the Eagles 4-1.

Josh Ruth got the start on the mound of the Eagles and struck out the first batter he faced.

The next batter reached after being hit by a pitch, but Judd Fuqua threw out the runner attempting to steal second.

Ruth reached first on a bunt single to start the bottom of the first inning, but was picked off.

In the top of the third inning, Austin Calhoun started the frame with a single a moved to second when Colby Copeland drew a two-out walk.

The Eagles then committed a pair of errors on one play that allowed the Bulldogs to go on top 2-0.

Kinston went up 4-0 when Blaine Moore drove in a pair of runs with a two-out single in the top of the fourth inning.

Shane Nixon drove in the Eagles’ only run with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

GAME TWO

KINSTON 3,

PLEASANT HOME 2

The Eagles led for the most of the game behind a great game from starting pitcher Mason Kelley, but Kinston rallied in the final frame and won 3-2 in extra innings.

James Hawkins was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the first inning and then came around to score off of an error.

The Eagles went up 2-0 in the top of the third when Hawkins drove in Ruth.

Kinston came back with a run in the bottom of the third.

The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Brock Fleming started the frame with a single.

Kelley then got outs from the next two batters.

Moore then came through with a two-out single to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The Eagles went down in order in order in the top of the eighth inning.

Christian Peters drew a walk to start the bottom of the eighth inning and moved to second on single from Jacob Wood.

Peters and Wood then pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third with one out.

Hunter Davis then dropped down a bunt as Peters raced to the plate.

The bunt was perfectly placed as the Eagles had no play on Peters as he crossed the plate for the game-winning run.