Chocowinity 12U torches Watauga County, eliminated by Williamston

Published 6:44 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

WILLIAMSTON — The Chocowinity 12U team that took the field at noon on Friday looked unlike the one that graced the diamond in Thursday’s tournament-opening loss. Beaufort County’s only all-star representatives came uncorked for a six-run second inning en route to a win over Watauga County.

After a leadoff groundout, the next six Chocowinity batters all reached safely. Omari Knight singled to shallow centerfield and stole second, setting the table to come in on Will Rose’s knock through the left side. Trey Cherry and Matt Bullock then drew back-to-back walks.

Jody Pierce plated Rose and Cherry on a single into shallow right field. His hit forced Watauga to make a pitching change. Bullock and Pierce each moved up a base, and Pierce scored on an error. Bullock then came in on a wild pitch.

Matt Bullock hits the deck as he runs in to score on an opening provided by a passed ball. Bullock and the entire Chocowinity squad came to life as they batted through the order in a six-run second inning in Saturday’s first game.

Walker Hill pushed the early lead to 8-0 when he reached on an infield single, stole second and took third on an error, then scored on a passed ball.

Chocowinity’s offense had steam right out of the gate. After holding the opposition off the board in the top of the first, Rose cranked a solo home run to break the ice. Cherry added a second run when he doubled down the left-field line, stole third, and scored on a passed ball.

Watauga went down in order in the second inning and only had one runner in the fourth. Trailing 9-0, it finally broke through with four runs on three RBI singles and a passed ball. Pitcher Brenden Perkins settled in to induce a pop up after giving up a pair of two-out hits.

Still with a 9-4 lead, Chocowinity was able to seal the win via the 10-run mercy rule in the bottom of the fourth. Pierce led off with a single. Watauga gifted Chocowinity three runs with two bases-loaded walks and a hit batter. Cherry pushed across the decisive run with a base hit to right field.

Chocowinity’s historic run came to an end in the following game. After a brief rest, the all stars took on a fresh, home-standing Williamston squad. Hill had a three-run homer, and Bullock added a solo shot, but Chocowinity fell short, 16-9, and was eliminated.

The summer saw this Chocowinity team drive further than any other ever had. These all stars finished among the eight best teams in all of North Carolina. The end is bittersweet, but their accomplishments leave much to be proud of.