By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
The Williams baseball team secured just what it needed Tuesday night.
Behind 12 strikeouts from pitcher Tate Jones, the Bulldogs trounced visiting Roxboro Person for an 8-0 victory on Senior Night.
“Sending the seniors out winners,” Jones said. “There was a bunch of stuff at stake. Winning was a big deal for us.”
Williams (15-8 overall, 7-4 Central 3-A Conference) clinched at least a share of second place in the league and the No. 2 seed for next week’s conference tournament.
The outcome also puts the Bulldogs in good shape for a spot in next month’s Class 3-A state playoffs.
“It has been a long time since we’ve had an opportunity to play in the state playoffs,” coach Jamie Athas said.
Aiden Pulliam, with a two-run single and a sacrifice fly, drove in three runs and Vince Coker had two runs batted in. Ethan George had an RBI single off the fence.
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Williams has won three in a row following a three-game skid.
“We really try to limit those downs in the season,” Athas said.
Jones, who didn’t issue a walk, did his part across six innings on the mound. Roxboro Person (13-8, 6-5) managed three singles. George pitched the ninth with one strikeout to complete the three-hitter.
Jones hasn’t allowed an earned run in six conference games.
Williams scored three first-inning runs, another in the third and four in the fourth.
The regular-season finale between the teams has been moved up to Thursday night in Roxboro because of weather-related concerns Friday.
- At Mebane, Eastern Alamance didn’t solve Orange starter Ryan Hench in his return to action and dropped a 10-1 home decision to the first-place Panthers.
Orange (19-2, 9-2) secured outright first place in the Central 3-A Conference with its 12th consecutive victory overall.
Hench, a University of North Carolina signee, pitched for the first time since suffering an injury March 8. He struck out six in three innings.
Eastern’s Cole McGinnis, the losing pitcher, roped a first-inning double but ended up stranded at third base for the only hit off Hench. Later, McGinnis homered. The Eagles are 4-17, 1-10.
- At Elon, Western Alamance snapped a three-game losing streak in Central 3-A Conference games by winning 2-1 against visiting Cedar Ridge. The Warriors (10-12, 5-6) thumped visiting Western Guilford 15-2 in Monday’s non-conference game.
- At Durham, Southern Alamance topped Durham Riverside 6-1 to seal at least a share of second place in the DAC-VII Conference. The Patriots (12-9, 8-3) have won four of their last five going into the regular-season finale in a rematch with Durham Riverside on Thursday night at home.