The Carolina Heels pulled away late to defeat the Hawks 13-3 in the York Parks and Recreation O-Zone tournament championship last week at the York Recreation Complex.
The Heels started early by pushing across four runs in the top of the first inning. Joshua McSwain got things started for the Heels with an RBI double that sent Caleb Benton across the plate.
With one out, Alan Whitesides doubled home McSwain for the second run. Cameron Forbes followed with a run-scoring single that plated Whitesides.
The fourth run was tallied when Jacob Shettler reached on an error, scoring Forbes.
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Hawks pitcher Dylan Smoak held the Heels scoreless through the next three innings; meanwhile, the Hawks came alive in the bottom of the fourth to slice the lead to a single run.
Anthony Hammond started the rally with a bad-hop double. Smoak stepped to the plate and belted a double down the right-field line, scoring Hammond from second.
After Smoak reached third on a wild pitch, Hunter Cox drew a walk. Hall Crocker later received an intentional walk to load the bases.
Smoak scored sliding home after a wild pitch. Cox followed with an aggressive slide home after a wild pitch, and the Heels were holding to a precarious 4-3 lead.
Carolina answered by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Brian Phillips opened the inning by drawing a walk. Whitesides followed with a single, leaving runners at first and second.
Forbes reached on a single off an infielder’s glove that sent Whitesides and Phillips across the plate.
Later in the inning, Jo’Hmarea Harris beat out an infield hit that scored Forbes, staking the Heels to a 7-3 lead.
The Heels had a productive sixth inning that sealed the win before an enthusiastic crowd at the rec complex.
“Our kids were able to do what it takes to win,” said Carolina head coach David McSwain. “They hit the ball in key situations.”
McSwain also praised the Hawks. “They are a great team,” McSwain said.
“We split with the Hawks 2-2 for the season,” he said “We won the tournament title and they won the regular-season championship.”
McSwain said the Heels played as a team, with many players contributing to the win. “Our kids are excited about the win,” he said. “I am proud of all of them.”
“I am proud of our kids for a successful season, including a first-place finish in the regular season,” said Hawks head coach Steve Tucker.
“We were 8-1 for the season and the Heels won today,” he said. “They played well and put the ball in play. They earned the win. We split with them for the season.”