Washington earns spot in final and a shot at revenge

Published 6:16 pm Saturday, July 28, 2018

HICKORY — An early morning loss today to pesky rival Dare County put the Washington 8U machine pitch All-Star baseball team on the brink of elimination, but the Washington All-Stars’ bats came to life later in the afternoon, as they defeated Hamlet, 11-2, to book a spot in the final of the Tar Heel League State Tournament.

With its back against the wall in an elimination game against Hamlet, the Washington All-Stars rose to the occasion. They racked up 12 hits as a team in five innings, including four extra-base hits, one of which was a Brennon Warren 3-run home run.

Washington got on the scoreboard almost immediately in the top of the first, as leadoff hitter Layton Spivey and Brandon Granadero both hit singles and came home to score, giving Washington an early 2-0 lead. Granadero led all batters with three hits in the contest, including an RBI-triple.

Washington doubled its lead in the second, thanks to the middle of its batting lineup. Warren led off the inning with a single, before Miller Tyson doubled to left-centerfield, scoring Warren. Graham Spivey followed with another base hit, and a fielding error allowed Tyson to cross home plate. Hamlet cut into Washington’s lead with a run in the bottom of the second, but that seemingly kicked Washington into overdrive.

The Washington All-Stars responded by putting five more runs on the scoreboard, the maximum amount allowed per inning in this age group. Granadero’s RBI-triple kick started the flurry of runs, bringing Layton Spivey home to score. That was followed by back-to-back singles from Braeden Hall and Wyatt Shipley, before Warren’s 3-run home run closed out the inning’s scoring with Washington ahead, 9-1. Washington added two more runs in the top of the fifth, while Hamlet tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning.

The victory put Washington in the state tournament final, as well set it up for an opportunity to get some revenge. Its opponent will be Dare County, which defeated Washington, 10-4, in the third round of the tournament this morning, as well as in the final of the district tournament earlier this month.