West Raleigh waylays Marshall 12s
West Raleigh had an inning for the ages on Friday morning, as the Eastern North Carolina state champs clubbed five homeruns and scored 18 runs in the bottom of the first frame en route to crushing Marshall County 19-0 at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex in the Cal Ripken 12-Year Old Southeast Regional Tournament.
Thanks to Friday's mercy-rule victory, West Raleigh ran their record to 4-0 in National League pool play, while Marshall County fell to 0-3 in the tournament.
Bolstered by their early offensive explosion, Eastern North Carolina pounded out 16 hits against four Marshall County hurlers, including 15 in the first inning alone.
Paul Rider led West Raleigh's offensive attack by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Zach Miller (3 RBI), Nolan McLean (2 RBI), Garrett McCraw (2 RBI), and Lane Rhodes (2 RBI) notched two hits apiece as well with Miller and McLean both belting homeruns. Starting pitcher Carter Holjes (3 RBI), Koen Moreno (3 RBI), and Colby Gallimore (2 RBI) also homered for Eastern North Carolina, while Jake DeFranco and Sam Kulasingam each singled.
Although Marshall County struck out just once and made solid contact on several occasions, they found few holes in West Raleigh's air tight defense and mustered just two hits in the contest.
Holjes picked up the victory on the mound and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings. Moreno then came on in relief of Holjes and yielded one hit and one walk in one inning of work.
Tyler Wolaver singled twice to account for both Marshall County hits. Marshall County starting pitcher Austin Grubbs suffered the loss and surrendered eight runs on six hits and a walk while failing to record an out. Blake Aldridge was the most effective of Marshall County's three relief pitchers and allowed one run over two innings on one hit.
Holjes worked around a two-out single by Wolaver in the top of the first before West Raleigh brought down the hammer in the bottom half of inning and crossed home plate 18 times in the frame behind a RBI single by Miller, a McLean two-run homer, a two-run single by Rhodes, a Marshall County throwing error, a Gallimore two-run shot, a two-run single by McCraw, a Miller two-run dinger, and a pair of three-run homers by Holjes and Moreno to forge an 18-0 lead.
Eastern North Carolina then opened up a 19-0 advantage in the bottom of the second when Miller scored on a RBI fielder's choice by Holjes after being hit by a pitch and advancing to third on a wild pitch and a Rider single.
Marshall County had a chance to spoil West Raleigh's shutout bid in the top of the fourth when Wolaver singled and Williams drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out, but Moreno induced Grubbs to hit into a game ending 5-4 double play.