Huff’s walk-off, Daniels’ relief lifts Hunt to third round

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Tack on another one-run victory against a Johnston County opponent in the postseason for the Hunt High varsity baseball team.

This time, it was in the form of a walk-off.

Junior Blake Daniels had a 2-for-3 showing at the plate and gave the Warriors 5 1/3 innings of long relief, and sophomore Gavin Huff had the walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning to send Hunt into the third round with a 5-4, extra-inning conquest of Cleveland in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs at Sid Boyette Field.

Hunt, the No. 12 seed among 32 East region teams, improved to 18-5 and will visit Fayetteville Terry Sanford, the No. 4 seed in Tuesday’s third round. With three days between contests, head coach Jon Smith expects his entire staff to be available. Junior Tyson Bass is expected to get the ball for the Warriors against left-hander Davidjohn Herz, who has signed with North Carolina. Cleveland, the No. 28 seed 

“We’re very fortunate,” Smith said. “Blake was the story of the game. I felt the matchup was good with him throwing the ball around the zone.”

Daniels entered in the third inning with the bases loaded. He only allowed two hits the rest of the way, striking out three without a walk. His two-run single in the second erased Hunt’s first deficit.

In the eighth, Hunt set up its walk-off single with a Bass double, an intentional walk to sophomore Jarrett Aycock and an infield single by senior Trey Dail. Keen followed with the walk-off to end it.

Colby Davis was 3 for 4 at the plate to pace Cleveland. Dail and Blaize Keen, a sophomore, each had two hits. Cleveland outpaced Hunt in hits by a 10-9 margin.

Score by innings:

Cleveland 202 000 00 4

Hunt 031 000 01 5

WP-Blake Daniels 5 1/3, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO. 

LEADING HITTERS — Hunt: Blaize Keen 2-3, Trey Dail 2-4, Blake Daniels 2-3, RBI, Tyson Bass 1-4, 2B, Gavin Huff 1-3, RBI, Chase Waddell 1-3, RBI; Cleveland: Colby Davis 3-4, Josh Steele 2-3.