08/07/08 — Post 11 done

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Post 11 done

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on August 7, 2008 1:59 PM

GASTONIA -- Wayne County Post 11 fell victim to the "two and barbecue" scenario after an early exit from the 2008 N.C. Senior American Legion state baseball tournament.

But Wednesday's season-ending, 9-8 defeat to Gastonia Post 23 felt more like "home cooking" on the Sims Legion Park diamond.

Leading 7-2 after four innings, Wayne County's Jay Rose drilled a lead-off single in the fifth inning and advanced to second on a groundout. Center fielder Nolan Lancaster delivered a two-out single and Rose was thrown out at the plate.

"That play was not even close," said Post 11 coach Brad Reaves. "I don't think it was close, and I don't think anybody else did, either."

Post 11 never recovered.

Gastonia, which had won eight games all season, capitalized on its good fortune. Trey Ferry's lead-off triple and Preston Lyon's RBI single ignited a seven-run uprising in its half of the fourth. Matt Crisp's two-RBI rip eventually chased Wayne County starter Adron Hollowell from the mound.

Three runs later, Post 11 trailed 9-7.

"They just strung all those hits together," said Reaves. "We misplayed that one line drive. That was the hit that got it started. A lot of those hits were with two strikes.

"We just didn't put anybody away. We couldn't make a pitch."

Tyler Edwards' RBI groundout closed the gap to 9-8 in the sixth inning.

Gastonia's pitching staff permitted just two base runners during the final three innings. Wayne County finished with 13 hits, including three from John Wooten. Rose, Walker Gourley and Alex Casey each contributed two hits.

Taylor Allen suffered the mound loss in relief of Hollowell. Rose threw a perfect eighth.

It was the final Legion contest for five Post 11 players -- Hollowell, Lancaster, Alex Casey, Thomas Pilkington and Jesse Randolph. Wayne County concluded the year 24-8 overall and repeated as the Area I champion after suffering significant losses off its 2007 state runner-up team.