Staying alive in Charlotte

Wilson survives back-to-back elimination games

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CHARLOTTE — After being pushed to the brink of elimination with a shutout loss Sunday, the Wilson City Little League All-Stars responded with a pair of victories Monday and Tuesday at the North Carolina Little League Baseball Ages 9-10 Tournament.

Wilson, the District 6 champion, got a two-out, bases-loaded double off the bat of Landon High in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night at Keith Field, home of tournament host Myers Park Trinity Little League. The blow cleared the bases and snapped a 3-3 tie. High then took over on the mound to get the last two outs and preserve the 6-3 victory.

No further details were available on the game.

Wilson, which defeated Lake Norman 4-3 in the opening round Saturday, earned a rematch against Winston-Salem National in the losers bracket final Wednesday evening. Winston-Salem National, which blanked Wilson 3-0 on Sunday, lost 10-1 to Greenville Tar Heel in the winners bracket final Tuesday evening.

In its best offensive showing of the postseason, Wilson erupted for 14 hits and scored in every inning in a 15-8 defeat of Cherryville on Monday night. After being shut out Sunday, Wilson adopted “a more aggressive offensive approach at the plate and on the bases” against Cherryville, WCLL assistant coach Dewey Scott said.

Wilson scored a run each in the first two innings and added three more in the top of the third. After Cherryville pushed across its first run in the bottom of the inning, Wilson broke open the game with five runs in the fourth.

Scott said the team took a “small-ball approach” by using bunts and steals.

“This put the Cherryville defense on their heels, and led to some defensive miscues that we were able to take advantage of,” he said.

The offensive outburst also allowed Wilson to overcome four errors of its own.

Starting pitcher Peyton Gardner worked 2 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits while walking none and striking out three. Angel Saldana added 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief.

Mack Wiggins paced WCLL at the plate with a 4 for 5 showing that included three runs scored and an RBI. Camden Efird went 3 for 4 with four runs scored while Stone Massey was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs. Saldana doubled in two runs.

Wilson dropped into the losers bracket after a tough 3-0 loss Sunday to Winston-Salem National, which scored all of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wilson actually outhit WSN 8-6 but left eight runners on base.

Efird and Massey each went 2 for 3 to lead Wilson. Massey doubled.