Merritt Beeker and Jake Brown combined on a four-hit shutout and the Black Knights got the only run they would need on a pair of outfield errors in a win over the Blackhawks in the third round of the class 2A baseball playoffs Tuesday night in Millers Creek.

With two outs in the second inning, Maddox Johnson’s liner to center fielder was misplayed by center fielder Isaac Hamilton, who lost the ball in the sun. When Hamilton’s throw to third was wide of the bag, Johnson scored standing up to give North Davidson the lead.

Caleb Miles singled to lead off the bottom of the second, and Evan Johnson singled with two outs, but Maddox Johnson in left field threw Miles out at home plate to end the inning.

West Wilkes loaded the bases in the fourth on Braxton Church’s single and walks to Miles and Luke Huffman, but Evan Johnson struck out to end the inning.

Beeker, who got the win in the Black Knights’ first-round win over South Rowan, pitched the first five innings and Brown finished with two scoreless innings.

Riley Ledford took the loss for West Wilkes. It was the first loss of the sophomore’s career.

North Davidson added three insurance runs in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk to Jackson McAllister and singles by Jake Craver and Wesley Stewart off reliever Justin Dickson.

(Look for a full story, complete with statistics and coaches’ quotes, in the next issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.)

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