Austin Cagle had a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to send Clayton to a 6-4 win over Triton on Saturday in the first round of the Johnston County Easter Invitational at South Johnston’s Bruce Coats Field.
The Hawks (1-10) will meet Smithfield-Selma on Monday at noon after the Spartans were defeated 19-2 in five innings by Bunn in the opening game of the event.
Triton’s Colton Neighbors scored the first run after a single to left in the third inning with one out. Neighbors stole second and third before coming home on an error.
Two walks and two errors helped the Comets (4-5) take a 4-1 lead in the fourth. Cagle had a run-scoring double in the big frame.
The Hawks loaded the bases in the sixth on an error, a walk to starting pitcher Ethan Hedgepeth and a hunt single by Zyon Hicks. Clayton threw home on a pair of grounders to third for outs, but Neighbors had a hit to drive in two runs and tie the score at 4.
A walk and an error helped set the table for Cagle in the bottom of the sixth. He was thrown out going tot third on his decisive double.
“If you look at our last three or four ball games, it obviously shows that we’re improving,” said Triton coach Joey Miriello. “That’s a quality opponent we just played. It could have went either way.
“Overall, I’m pleased with what we did. We had a couple of miscues there late in the ball game that ended up costing us.
“I thought we did some good things on the basepaths. I thought we battled on the mound for the most part and played good defense for the most part. … Overall, a lot more positives to take out of it than negatives.”
Neighbors had a 3-for-4 effort for the Hawks. Dalen Thompson, Grayson Bradham, Hedgepeth and Hicks had hits for Triton.
JOHNSTON COUNTY EASTER INVITATIONAL
Bunn 19, Smithfield-Selma 2
Clayton 6, Triton 4
Western Harnett 6, Cleveland 4
Wake Forest 4, South Johnston 2
Noon — Smithfield-Selma 11, Triton 6
2:30 p.m. — Cleveland 8, South Johnston 6 (8 innings)
5 p.m. — Bunn 7, Clayton 0
7:30 p.m. — Wake Forest 11, Western Harnett 1 (6 innings)
Noon — South Johnston vs. Triton
2:30 p.m. — Cleveland vs. Smithfield-Selma
5 p.m. — Clayton vs. Western Harnett
7:30 p.m. — Championship, Bunn vs. Wake Forest