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Dixie Pre-Majors Make A Clean Sweep

Halifax County-South Boston Dixie Pre-Majors manager Billy Conner was worried about his team’s pitching going into the best-of-three-game playoff series for the District 4 title against Mecklenburg County. After his team swept the series in two games, the second of which was an 11-1 win in five innings here Wednesday night at C.H. Friend Field, Conner was feeling a lot better about his mound staff.

He got a good four and a third innings from starter William Worley in Tuesday night’s 10-8 win at Bluestone High School. Derek Conner threw a complete game in Wednesday night’s championship game, allowing five scattered hits.

“I was worried about our pitching,” the Halifax County-South Boston manager said in the wake of Wednesday’s district title game.

“That, to me, was the big thing. I knew we could hit the ball and that we would be pretty good defensively. Both kids (Worley and Conner) did a great job for us. We had some good hits and we made some good defensive plays behind our pitcher tonight that really helped us.”

The Halifax County-South Boston all-stars, the District 4 representative in the Dixie Pre-Majors State Tournament which opens July 17 in Amelia, had a little bit of a scare in Tuesday night’s opening game.

A five-run rally in the top of the third inning spearheaded by a two-RBI double by Worley and two runs in the top of the fourth inning gave Halifax County-South Boston a solid 7-0 lead.

Mecklenburg County took advantage of four walks to chalk up a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the deficit to five runs. The margin stayed the same after both teams scored a run in the fifth inning.

Halifax County added a run in the top of the sixth inning to make it a 9-3 lead. The big lead came in handy as Mecklenburg County capitalized on two Halifax County errors and a two-RBI double from Josh Balducci to score five runs and make it a one-run game at 9-8.

An insurance run in the top of the seventh inning was enough to allow Halifax County-South Boston to secure the 10-8 win.

Halifax County-South Boston had 11 hits in the game with Ryan Yates, Worley, Patrick Barton and Conner each getting two hits. Joe Martin, Andrew Hamlett and Nick Anderson each had one hit.

Mecklenburg County had six hits in the game with Balducci and L.J. Barnett getting two hits each. Bobby Harris and Dustin Johnson had a hit each.

HC-SB 11 Mecklenburg 1
(5 Innings) – Wednesday


Halifax County-South Boston exploded for four runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth inning to down Mecklenburg County 11-1 in a game ended in the bottom of the fifth inning under a mercy rule.

As in Tuesday night’s game, Halifax County-South Boston came up with 11 hits in winning the title game, with Conner and Martin leading the team with two hits each.

Starters Yates, Worley, Dustin Davis and Jacob New had a hit each and reserves Matthew Trent, Avery Anderson and Cody Palmer contributed a hit each.
Conner allowed five hits and scattered three walks in his five innings of work and fanned two Mecklenburg County batters.

Back-to-back doubles by Worley and Martin in the first inning gave Halifax County a 1-0 lead. Two runs in the second inning that resulted from run-scoring hits by New and Yates have Halifax County a 3-0 lead.

Four runs in the fourth inning, two of which came from a two-RBI double by Martin, put Halifax County up 7-0. Mecklenburg County scratched up a run in the top of the fifth inning with a two-out single by Balducci and a run-scoring hit by Barnett to make it a 7-1 score.

A pair of Mecklenburg County errors and four hits that included run-scoring hits by Trent, A. Anderson and Davis produced four runs for Halifax County-South Boston in the bottom of the fifth inning, enough to end the game and clinch the district title.

Barnett had a big night for Mecklenburg County with three hits. Balducci had the other two hits.