The annual Jimmy Raynor Baseball Tournament concluded Wednesday night with a rousing 7-6 win by the Clinton Dark Horses against the James Kenan Tigers.
Securing a steady lead from the beginning, the Dark Horses entered the top of the third with an advantage of 0-3 with the efforts of players Tanner Pope and Trey Warren. James Kenan’s bats came to life for a sudden two-run gain.
The fourth inning was a quiet one as James Kenan composed their defensive front against Clinton’s steady heavy-hitting. Gage Jackson scored the sole run for Clinton before changing over in what would prove to be an explosive fifth.
Rallying late in the game, James Kenan blew the game wide open with deft batting and quick feet; one run, lead by the Tigers’ Desmond Tillery, boiled over into a wild streak of two, then three, and a final fourth by Braxton Bland. Clinton, up to bat, answered with the speed of players Skyler Cannady and Zach Parker before James Kenan’s strong pitching shuttered the inning. It closed at a tie of 6-6.
There was a palpable tension in the air as the sixth inning opened up to Clinton’s hard batting meeting a match in James Kenan’s swift pitching. Despite working their way up to third base, however, the visiting team’s unified defensive front proved formidable. It was now the Tigers’ turn up the plate — Clinton’s defense answered in equal determination and the tie held.
The top of the seventh opened with a rocky stalemate.
Riding their strong defensive momentum, the Dark Horses pitched a no-hit inning in the seventh––extra innings were now a hushed possibility over the field as the Dark Horses took to plate with Logan Carr at bat. He lead the team to a final tie-breaking steal of home plate, closing the game and winning the tournament, 7-6.
Clinton’s season record elevates now to 8-6, as James Kenan’s close loss moves the team to a record of 9-7.