LUMBERTON — By using a pair of home runs in a big third inning, the North Carolina state champions posted an impressive 16-1 win over Mississippi to start the Dixie Youth Division II AAA World Series at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex Friday.
One day after winning the AAA home run derby at the skills competition, Jayden Daniels launched a 3-1 pitch to left field to cap off a 10-run third inning. Earlier that inning, Cameron Lewis drove in Daniels, Harrison Mears, Julien Simmons and himself with an opposite-field grand slam.
North Carolina and Alabama meet at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, while Mississippi will attempt to avoid elimination against South Carolina at the same starting time.
Mears had a pair of hits and a trio of runs scored. Jackson Wallace, Colton Mulligan and Wyatt Clewis each had a hit as well for North Carolina on Friday.
Cooper Sanford had the only hit for Mississippi in a combined one-hitter threw by North Carolina’s Cameron Lewis, Wallace and Clewis. Tucker Hux scored the lone Mississippi run.
Alabama smothers South Carolina in opener
South Carolina struck first with one run in the top of the first inning, and from there Alabama controlled the contest to earn an 11-1 win in four innings.
Alabama takes on North Carolina at 12:45 p.m. on Field 1 Saturday, while South Carolina and Mississippi play at that same time on Field 2 in the consolation bracket.
Jax Miller had a pair of hits for Alabama, including an RBI in the two-run first inning. Logan Seymor and Hunter Andrews each had a hit as well for Alabama.
South Carolina’s lone run came when Avery Weaver crossed following an error. He reached on a single that was one of two hits South Carolina had in the loss.
Alabama scored five runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning, with much of its offense coming from 15 walks surrendered by the South Carolina pitching staff.
Big second inning lifts Virginia over Georgia
After Georgia struck first in top of the second inning with a pair of runs, Virginia responded in a big way en route to earning a 10-3 win to open the World Series.
Virginia advances to take on host Red Springs at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Field 1, while Georgia faced elimination against Florida on Field 2 at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
In that bottom of the second inning, Virginia batted around and scored eight runs. Kason McCormick had a pair of hits to lead all batters in the game, including one in the second-inning rally. Javaughn Andrews doubled early in the second frame and drove in a run before crossing the plate himself.
Also adding hits in the inning were Nick Jordan and Zachery Rosser. Jordan had two hits in the game and Colt Bryant scored a pair of runs.
Virginia added one run in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, with a bases loaded walk forcing the run home in the third inning.
With the offense giving him a boost, Virginia starter Nick Jordan tossed 3 1/3 innings, and struck out eight batters.
Georgia’s Eli Foskey had a pair of hits and scored two of the team’s three runs in the loss.
Fourth inning rally helps Texas run-rule Florida
Holding onto a three-run lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, Texas scored seven runs to end the contest prematurely in a 15-5 win over Florida.
Texas used hits from Tanner Foster, Billy Prince, Hunter Howard and Bryson Morrow in the fourth inning to pounce on Florida. Howard was credited with a pair of RBIs in the rally and was the only hitter with a pair of hits in the game.
Florida posted three runs in the top of the third inning, taking advantage of three passed balls that allowed the runs to cross home.
Jayden Reece and Terrell Williams had the only hits for Florida in the game. Kevin Johnson and Foster combined for the gem.
Texas plays the winner of Virginia and Georgia on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on Field 1, while Florida looks to avoid elimination against Georgia on Saturday.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.