EW wins, clinches third playoff spot
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 13, 2004 2:52 PM
KINSTON -- Eastern Wayne's Garrett Sutton pitched 32Ú3 innings of one-hit relief work as the Warriors played flawless defense and benefitted from a couple of costly Kinston errors in a crucial, 8-7 win at the Vikings' diamond on Wednesday.
The win boosts the Warriors (12-12 overall) to 10-6 in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference -- good for a second-place tie with South Central, who lost 6-5 to conference champ West Carteret on Wednesday.
It was Eastern Wayne's second straight road win on an opponent's senior night after a home loss to Southern Wayne last Friday.
"The kids responded well. We played away on two senior nights and we did some small things to win," Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum said. "When you do that, it helps out."
By way of falling twice to South Central, the Warriors will take the ECC's third seed into the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs and will likely travel to face Manteo in the first round on May 18.
Kinston (8-16 overall) finished the season at 7-9 in conference play.
Sutton, who picked up the win in relief of Vinson, inherited a bases-loaded jam in the third and gave up only one run -- striking out five of the first six batters he faced.
"Sutton came in and threw the ball extremely well and Tyler Ham has done an excellent job of blocking the ball the last two games," Fulghum said. "We've played pretty darn good defense the last two nights as well."
After the Vikings tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth, Ham, who finished with two hits, delivered a one-out single in the top of the seventh. An error on a bunt, moved courtesy runner Brandon Whitfield to third, who scored on a throwing error by the catcher on a double-steal attempt for the eventual game winning run.
Sutton sat Kinston down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Trey Johnson had a stout, two-double, three-RBI performance for the Warriors, while had three hits and two doubles. Chris Davis added a double and two RBI.
Kinston's Josh Tyndall, who picked up the loss in relief of Richard Nobles, had two hits, including a triple.
Eastern Wayne 200 050 1 -- 8 11 0
Kinston 210 301 0 -- 7 5 2
Leading hitters -- Eastern Wayne -- Airlon Vinson 3-4, 2 2B; Trey Johnson 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Tyler Ham 2-4, RBI; Chris Davis 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI. Kinston -- Josh Tyndall 2-3, 3B.
IP H R ER BB SO
Airlon Vinson 31Ú3 4 6 6 7 2
Garrett Sutton (W) 32Ú3 1 1 1 3 6
Richard Nobles 5 10 7 5 0 2
Josh Tyndall (L) 2 1 1 0 1 3
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