Monday’s four games in the Johnston County Easter Invitational were record-setting offensively. The day saw a total of 79 runs scored, two teams break the 20-run mark and a record number of home runs hit (11). Those are both highs during the 25-year run of the event at south Johnston High School’s Bruce Coats Field.
The bookend games — West Johnston vs. Cleveland (a 4-3 West win) and Bunn vs. Harnett Central (a 6-5 Bunn win) — were pitcher’s duels of the highest order compared to the two afternoon games.
South Johnston got its offense in order in a 23-5 victory over Smithfield-Selma. Zachary Bridges hit two home runs for South and teammate Grant Millay went deep as well.
That game was only a warm up for Triton’s 22-11 win over Clayton, however. The contest featured seven home runs and an epic game from Aaron Hedgepeth.
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Hedgepeth went 3-for-3 with a pair of three-run home runs, two sacrifice flies and a two-run single. Logan Bender also homered twice for Triton, which totaled 21 hits and 5 walks drawn.
Clayton’s Cole Hinnant, John Messina and Blake Joyner also homered.
West Johnston’s Tyler Tilson had the first home run of the day.
Clayton, South get two-win weeks: A Johnston County team didn’t take make the finals of the tournament for the first time since 2008, but Clayton and South Johnston were able to leave the event with a pair of wins.
South (9-5) beat West Johnston and Smithfield-Selma in consolation round games after losing its opener.
Clayton (8-5) won its opener on Saturday against Cleveland, then bounced back from the wild Monday loss to Triton with a 9-5 triumph over Harnett Central. The win over Central avenged an earlier loss during Greater Neuse River 4A Conference play.
The 25th Annual Johnston County Easter Invitational
April 4 Results
Clayton 6, Cleveland 2
Triton 8, West Johnston 5
Bunn 3, Smithfield-Selma 1
Harnett Central 7, South Johnston 1
April 6 Results
West Johnston 4, Cleveland 3
South Johnston 23, Smithfield-Selma 5
Triton 22, Clayton 11
Bunn 6, Harnett Central 5
April 7 Results
Cleveland 6, Smithfield-Selma 1
South Johnston 9, West Johnston 6
Clayton 9, Harnett Central 5
Bunn 4, Triton 2
John Stott Memorial MVP
Thomas Dean (Bunn)
Andy Pleasant Most Hits Award
Bailey Tart (Triton)
Pat Smith Most Outstanding Defensive Player
Josh Boone (Bunn)
All-Tournament Team: Logan Bender (Triton); Spencer Brickhouse (Bunn); Zachary Bridges (South Johnston); Aaron Hedgepeth (Triton); Cole Hinnant (Clayton); Charlie Horne (Smithfield-Selma); Logan Jackson (Bunn); Nash Johnson (South Johnston); Sully Keele (Clayton); Ian Land (Bunn); Dylan Lee (Cleveland); Conner McKeithan (Bunn); Brett McLamb (Triton); Tyson Messer (Harnett Central); Chris Tarpey (Harnett Central); Tyler Tilson (West Johnston); Brooks Verona (Clayton)
1991: Rosewood; 1992: Princeton: 1993: South Johnston; 1994: South Johnston; 1995: Clayton; 1996: Fuquay-Varina; 1997: Fuquay-Varina; 1998: Clayton; 1999: Clayton; 2000: South Johnston; 2001: Cape Fear; 2002: South Johnston; 2003: Smithfield-Selma; 2004: South Johnston; 2005: Fayetteville Jack Britt; 2006: Fayetteville Jack Britt; 2007: South Johnston; 2008: Middle Creek; 2009: Clayton; 2010: Clayton; 2011: West Johnston; 2012: Middle Creek; 2013: South Johnston; 2014: West Johnston; 2015: Bunn