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Trailing 14-4, West Green rallies, beats South Columbus 15-14

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By Michael Paul, Sports Editor

 West Green rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings and then beat South Columbus 15-14 in the eighth on Jake Elliott’s one-out infield grounder.

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In the eighth, Austin Turner led off and was safe on an infield error. Charlie Carcich singled to right field. With runners on third and first, Johnathan Carlyle was intentionally walked. With one out and the infield drawn in, Elliott hit a grounder toward third. The fielder bobbled the ball and the winning run scored, ending the marathon game around 11:30 p.m.

West , which trailed 14-4 entering the bottom of the fourth, improved to 5-0 with the victory in the non-conference game June 18 in Shallotte.

South Columbus scored five runs in the top of the second against starter Turner, three of the runs scoring on a two-out triple.

West scored in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of three errors.

South Columbus scored two runs in the top of the third against reliever Tyler McDuffie, the second set up when a two-out flyball was dropped in right field.

West scored three runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 7-4. Hunter Ashburn walked and Gray Cheers was hit by a pitch. They advanced a base on Turner’s flyout. Carcich singled to right field, driving in a run. Another run scored on Carlyle’s sacrifice fly. West cut the lead to 7-4 when a run scored after Austin Evans was safe at first on an errant throw.

In the top of the fourth, McDuffie walked the bases loaded. Ashburn entered in relief. South Columbus scored three runs off an error and two walks in taking a 10-4 lead. A fielder’s choice left the bases loaded, and South Columbus scored four runs off a walk, a single and a wild pitch in taking a 14-4 lead.

West scored twice in the bottom of the fourth in cutting the lead to 14-6. With one out, McDuffie walked. He scored on Ashburn’s double to center. Ashburn scored on a wild pitch.

Sean Hewett scored a run for West in the bottom of the sixth when he walked, went to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on the overthrow.

West then rallied in the seventh, scoring seven runs to tie the score.

With one out, Carcich walked, Carlyle singled and Evans walked, loading the bases. Elliott singled home a run and a groundout by Cam Davis cut the lead to 14-9. Hewett then tripled to left field, scoring two runs and cutting the lead to 14-11.

Facing a new pitcher, McDuffie reached on a throwing error and a run scored. Ashburn, down to his last strike, singled to right field, putting runners on third and second. With Cheers at the plate and facing a 0-2 count, West scored two runs on a wild pitch.

In the top of the eighth, South Columbus loaded the bases with one out, but Cheers ended the inning with two strikeouts, the second on a 3-2 count.

Cheers was the winning pitcher. He pitched the final three innings, giving up two hits. He walked two and struck out six.