Three-run sixth inning lifts Tar Heel past North State in District 4 Little League Tournament

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville’s two Little League teams squared off for the first time in the postseason Thursday at Elm Street Park. Chance are, they will meet again on Saturday.

The Tar Heel 10-12 year-old Little League baseball team scored three times in the sixth inning and held on for an 8-6 victory over Greenville rival North State on Thursday in the District 4 Tournament. The win puts Tar Heel in the title game against the winner of Friday’s contest between North State and Rocky Mount, scheduled for 5:30 p.m., weather permitting.

North State hit four home runs and beat Rocky Mount, 8-4, on Tuesday.

The winner of Friday’s losers’ bracket final is currently scheduled to face Tar Heel Saturday at 11 a.m. One win by Tar Heel gives the team the district title. The winner of Friday’s game has to win twice to take the title.

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Tar Heel held a 2-0 lead after batting in the first but North State tacked on three runs to take an early lead. Brady Hastings had a fielder’s choice RBI that tied the game at 2-2 before another fielder’s choice RBI gave North State a 3-2 advantage.

Tar Heel came back with three of its own in the top of the second. Rooke Knittle hit an RBI double that dropped in the corner to tie it a 3-all. Tyce Thompson then hit a two-run homer to give Tar Heel a 5-3 advantage.

Knittle finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored while Thompson was 3-for-4 with his homer, three RBI and two runs scored for Tar Heel, which finished with 12 hits. Parker Simo also drove in two runs and got the win on the mound with 2.2 innings pitched, four strikeouts and one earned run by North State in the bottom of the sixth.

North State finished with six hits, led by Hastings’ three-RBI night (1-for-4). Ashton Skinner was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.

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