Bryant’s 2-run double lifts Hamlet in extras

Red Rams, Rockets to play for conference championship

By Kevin Spradlin

* Rockets edge Wildcats to advance

New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra must have been inspired by something when he allegedly said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.”

One might wonder what he would have thought had he been in Wadesboro on Wednesday afternoon. There, the third-seeded Hamlet Red Rams edged host Anson 7-4 in extra innings to advance to the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference title game. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Monday against the Rockets at Rockingham Middle School.

Dawson Bryant

Dawson Bryant

The Red Rams were able to get there in part because, for the second consecutive game, Dawson “The Hammer” Bryant was at the plate with the game on the line. And once again, he delivered. Bryant’s one-out, two-run double scored Alex Anderson and Storm Graham to put Hamlet up 6-4 in the top of the eighth inning. The Red Rams tacked on a third run when Luke Preslar singled in Bryant.

Anderson led off the top of the eighth with a double. Austin Talton laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Anderson to third. With one out and Graham at the plate, Hamlet coach Ralph Butler was thinking bunt.

At that point, Butler said, “We just want one run to go ahead.”

Graham bunted, but the Bearcats muffed the play — which put runners on the corners and still only one out.

Anson had its chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh. The Bearcats’ leadoff hitter tripled but the Red Rams were “able to get out of it,” Butler said. “That was pretty tough.”

Jahan Jones went 3-for-4, scored two runs and stole a base in the win. Anderson and Bryant finished with two hits apiece. Anderson scored twice and, as the Red Rams’ leadoff hitter, finished 2-for-3 with a  double, triple, a walk and a stolen base.

Preslar was Hamlet’s starting pitcher. He went 5 1/3 innings and was replaced by Anderson with the game tied 4-4. Anderson picked up the win in relief.

Rockingham beat Hamlet 11-8, in Hamlet, but Butler said he doesn’t expect another high-scoring affair.

“It don’t get any better than that,” Butler said, “Rockingham (vs.) Hamlet for a championship game. That’s the way it should be. Should be a lotta fun.”

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Sports

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