04/09/04 — S. Central slips past Warriors

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S. Central slips past Warriors

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 9, 2004 2:00 PM

South Central coach Robert "Peanut" Langston's team did most all of the little things correctly in picking up a 3-2 win at Eastern Wayne on Thursday in a battle of two teams tied for second place in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference.

Still, he couldn't help but come away feeling fortunate after the close victory.

"We made some plays to take them out of some innings," Langston said. "I feel fortunate to get out of here with a win. It's not over until it's over, and that's how it is in this league."

With right-hander Matt Scoggin on the mound, the Falcons (8-4-1, 7-2 ECC) dodged bullet after bullet in the contest. The Warriors (7-5, 6-3 ECC) put a runner on base in every inning and out-hit South Central 10-6, but the big run-producing hits never materialized as Eastern Wayne stranded 10 runners.

The Falcons also had their fair share of difficulty with runners on base as they stranded 11 against Warrior left-hander Airlon Vinson (3-2).

Both hurlers pitched complete games.

"Airlon pitched well. He didn't keep the ball down as good as he has lately, but he pitched well enough to win," Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum said.

Eastern Wayne looked particularly poised for a big inning in the third as Matt Hemenway smashed the first of his two doubles -- this one into the right-center field gap to score Jesse Lancaster, making the score 1-1.

Hemenway finished with a stout 4-for-4 effort at the plate.

Trey Johnson followed with a short single to left, setting up runners at first and second with one out. Scoggin went on to retire the next two hitters with a fly out to right and a ground out to second.

Eastern Wayne also had first-and-second situations with one out in the fourth and fifth innings. Billy McKinley, who had two hits, advanced to third after a single after a pair of wild pitches.

"We were not patient at the plate tonight. Scoggin threw well, but we chased a lot of balls down in the zone that we shouldn't have, and we've got to learn from that," Fulghum said.

South Central answered Eastern Wayne in the top of the fourth as Ryan Benner popped a single to left center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Bieber -- one of four Falcons to execute a sacrifice -- then scored on a throwing error by the third baseman.

Benner started the sixth with a double to right center, then scored two batters later when Tyrell Worthington tripled into the left center gap to make the score 3-1. John Allen Conway, who walked, and Brandon Brown reached on a bunt single to load the bases before Vinson stepped up and retired the next two batters to escape more damage.

The Warriors tallied the game's final run in the seventh when Johnson drove in Hemenway with a sacrifice fly to center, making the second out. With the bases empty, Scoggin finished the game with a strikeout.

Eastern Wayne returns to action against Charlotte Providence on the first day of the Grimsley Hot Stove League Tournament at Guy Smith Stadium in Greenville on Saturday at 5 p.m.

"It's going to be a heck of a tournament because there are some great teams there," Fulghum said. "We are going up there to play three good ball games."

S. Central 100 101 0 -- 3 6 1 E. Wayne 001 000 1 -- 2 10 2

Leading hitters -- S. Central -- Ryan Benner 2-4, 2 runs; Edward Greene 1-2, 2B, RBI; Tyrell Worthington 1-3, 3B, RBI. E. Wayne -- Matt Hemenway 4-4, 2 2B, RBI, run; Trey Johnson 1-4, RBI; Tyler Ham 2-4; Billy McKinley 2-3.

DP -- S. Central 1. LOB -- S. Central 11, E. Wayne 10. SH -- Brown, Hopkins, Greene, Bieber, Johnson, Davis. SB -- Greene, Lancaster.


S. Central

Scoggin (W) 7 10 2 2 2 4

E. Wayne

Vinson (L, 3-2) 7 6 3 2 7 4

WP -- Scoggin (3), Vinson. PB -- Bieber.