03/31/04 — Saints get first ECC win at Warriors' expense

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Saints get first ECC win at Warriors' expense

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on March 31, 2004 2:02 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne baseball coach Trae McKee took a page from the U.S. Postal Service for their 6-5 win last night over visiting Eastern Wayne at the Doyle Whitfield Sports Complex. Neither rain, nor cold, nor the gloom of night could keep the Saints from picking up their first Eastern Carolina 3-A conference win.

"We had been close, scratching at the door," said McKee. "It's good to win a close one, especially against a very good team like Eastern Wayne. This is a big one for us."

Austin Hood

News-Argus/Dennis Hill

Southern Wayne's Austin Hood trots home to the congratulations of his teammates after hitting a home run in the Saints' game against Eastern Wayne Tuesday night at Southern Wayne. Hood belted two home runs in the game.

The elements took a back seat, however, to an outstanding pitchers' duel between Eastern Wayne's Jesse Lancaster and Southern Wayne's Ashton Langston.

Lancaster was razor sharp, striking out 14, while walking only 4. Langston, who evened his record at 2-2, did not walk a batter, while striking out six.

Keeping the ball low, Langston forced the Warrior batters to record 12 infield outs. He got left fielder Tyler Mitchell to end the second by hitting into a nifty 4-6-3 double play.

"Ashton did a super job tonight keeping them off balance," said McKee. "He really kept his composure out there. We could not ask anything more from him."

Although Lancaster gave up but five hits, four went for extra bases. With one out in the first, Hood clobbered the ball over the left-centerfield fence to give his club a 1-0 lead. Wayne Clemmons made it 2-0 as he crossed the plate on a fielder's choice.

Hood was just getting warmed up. In the third, after Nathan Fail had been hit by a pitch, he zeroed in on the right centerfield fence for his second homer of the night, making it 4-0.

"Hard work is really starting to pay off for Austin," said McKee. "He's the first one here, and the last one to leave."

Eastern Wayne's bats began to be heard in the fourth. Back to back doubles by Tyler Ham and Airlon Vinson cut the lead to 4-3, as Vinson, Matt Hemenway, and Lancaster scored. The score went to 5-4 Eastern Wayne in the following inning when singles by Garrett Sutton, Hemenway, and Billy McKinley did the damage, scoring McKinley and Sutton.

Southern Wayne's clutch hitting, along with some Eastern defensive lapses put the Saints back ahead to stay in the bottom of the fifth. Hood, who went 3-4 on the night, scoring three runs and knocking in three RBI, lead off the inning with a double.

Walks to Josh Narron and Matt Graham, and a single by Holloman, coupled with a throwing error and a wild pitch did the damage. Langston was close to perfect for the final two innings, allowing only one Warrior to reach base.

"When you play Southern Wayne at Southern Wayne, it's tough," said Eastern coach Jabo Fulghum. "Both pitchers threw well. We had some timely hits, but it just wasn't our night."

Eastern Wayne's next game will be Friday, when they entertain C.B. Aycock. Conference-wise, the Warriors record stands at 4-2.

Southern Wayne's next game will be Friday at Goldsboro.

Eastern Wayne 000 320 0 -- 5 8 2

Southern Wayne 202 020 x -- 6 5 2

Leading hitters -- Eastern Wayne -- Garrett Sutton 2 hits; Matt Hemenway 2 hits, 2 RBI; Airlon Vinson 2 hits, 2B, 2 RBI. Taylor Ham 2B, 2 RBI. Southern Wayne -- Austin Hood 3 hits, 2 HR, 2B, 3R, 3 RBI, Chris Pearsall 2B.


Eastern Wayne (5-5, 4-2)

Lancaster (L, 1-3) 6 5 6 4 4 14

Southern Wayne (3-6, 1-5)

Langston (W, 2-2) 7 8 5 5 0 6