Day 1 recap of this year's Dixie Youth Baseball Division 2 state tournament.
DUNN — A humid, sticky backdrop at Tyler Park Saturday paled in comparison to the hotly-contested matchups during opening day of this year's Dixie Youth Baseball Division 2 state tournament.
As hosts for a second time in three years, Dunn boasted one team in both the AA (8-and-under) and AAA (10-and-under) brackets, while Lillington's 10u squad also took the field to represent the county.
Here's a look at how each fared during the opening rounds of each 12-team, double-elimination bracket.
For Andrew White's Dunn AA All-Stars, a long day started with a first-round tilt just after noon and finished with a marathon second-round bout that wrapped up well after dusk.
"We've been out here since 11 o'clock this morning and it's 9:30 p.m. (now). The boys just came in here and did the best they could," White said after narrowly losing to Hoke County, 27-25, in the nightcap.
Dunn advanced to the second round by blowing past South Columbus, 17-7, to start the tournament.
Samuel Hudson ended with a team-high four runs, while tying a team-best three hits to help power a hot lineup.
Hudson scored in the second and fourth to help Dunn explode for four runs in each frame. Jackson Williford's two-RBI highlighted the fourth as Dunn took a commanding 13-5 advantage into the bottom half.
"We came out ready to play a tough team in Columbus County. The boys came out here focused. They warmed up well and when they got out on the field they started hitting, and they played great," White said.
Dunn's bats stayed hot against another high-octane group in Hoke County Saturday evening.
The two teams combined to post the day's highest combined point total of any game, and they worked into a 7-7 tie after one inning.
Kole Isenhour led Dunn with three hits and was among the host of teammates to score a trio of runs. The group saw the deficit grow to as much as 10, but a late rally swung the momentum.
Trailing 27-20 coming into the sixth and down to its final three outs, Dunn responded again. Emery Peregoy, Henry Lawson and Grason Swain each had hits and scored in the frame. Dagen Kerley and Rhett Hamilton also came across the plate to help Dunn hang a five-spot and come just two runs short of forcing extras.
After waiting over an hour past the original start time because of a backlog from prior contests, the Dunn AAA All-Stars couldn't find a groove against first-round opponent West Lincoln and fell 16-1.
Gavin Blackman started on the bump for Dunn and collected four strikeouts and drew two walks at the plate. Teammate Eli Warren scored the group's sole run in the fourth inning before the game was called due to the run rule.
West Lincoln used an eight-run third inning to blow things open after leading 6-0 after two.
The Lillington AAA fell to King's Mountain, 13-2, in a first-round contest.
Jack Barder's RBI single brought in Jay McFadden to help Lillington jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. Barber also scored in the frame while Sam McFadden added a hit as the group took a 2-0 advantage into the bottom half.
King's Mountain responded with seven runs in the home half of the frame, then scored three in the second and three in the fourth to gain the run-rule decision.
AAA Sunday Schedule:
West Lincoln v. Dixon, 5 p.m.
Whiteville v. East Duplin, 5 p.m.
South Columbus v. King's Mountain, 6:30 p.m.
Dunn v. Dallas, 1:30 p.m.
Lillington v. Clinton, 1:30 p.m.
Burgaw v. Shallotte, 1:30 p.m.
AA Sunday Schedule:
Winner's Bracket —
East Duplin v. Anson/Tryon, 3 p.m.
Dunn v. Anson/Tryon, 3:30 p.m.
Shallotte v. Dixon, noon.
Kannapolis v Red Springs, noon.
Southport v. South Columbus, noon.