ZEBULON — A fifth-place finish in the Tar Heel Leagues state tournament marked the end of a successful season for the Zebulon 11-12 All-Star baseball team.
The team qualified for the July 25-28 state round in Williamston compliments of its finish in the Tar Heel Leagues District 6 tournament, held July 9-14 in Rocky Mount. There, Zebulon won four of six games to claim the runner-up spot.
The local All-Stars’ two losses came at the hand of the Rocky Mount Nationals. The National crew won the tournament title game 12-0 and defeated Zebulon 13-1 two games earlier in the winners’ bracket final.
Zebulon’s ticket to the title game came with a 7-4 win over the other district tournament host team, Rocky Mount American. Jacob Glover led the scoring output and Trent Simmons excelled on the mound to secure the win for Zebulon.
In the first three games of district play, Zebulon outscored its opponents 31-7.
Strong hitting by Mitchell Smith and Bryan Killette, key base running by Weston Wall, and sound pitching by Cody Hardy and Zachery Perry led to a 13-1 win over Wendell in game three.
Against the Wake Forest Nationals in game two, Zebulon depended on the defense of Mathew Rainear and Robert Hough and the mound work of Bladen Hicks to hold on for a 5-3 win. Zebulon eased past Knightdale, 13-3, in the opening round. Colby Creech and Blake Boyette led Zebulon at the plate with three hits each in the win.
The Zebulon team began the season with a practice tournament in Smithfield and scrimmages, winning three of five games in preparation for the Tar Heel Leagues competition.