05/14/04 — Saints win, play CBA for playoff spot

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Saints win, play CBA for playoff spot

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 14, 2004 1:57 PM

VANCEBORO -- Southern Wayne continued its strong second-half surge in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play with a season-ending 10-8 victory Thursday afternoon at West Craven.

The win created a fourth-place tie with county rival Charles B. Aycock in the league standings. Each team finished 9-7, but could not break the tie on head-to-head criteria. They'll square off Saturday at 3 p.m. at Eastern Wayne to determine the conference's fourth and final playoff representative.

The Saints (12-11) lost their first five games against ECC opposition, but won nine of their last 11 to get into postseason contention.

"Early (season) we were in every ball game, but we just couldn't get a break," Southern Wayne coach Trae McKee said. "We couldn't get that big hit or make that big play at a critical time. We kept working at it, things started happening and we started to get some confidence.

"This team has showed a lot of heart to come back from something like that. We're extremely proud of them."

Southern Wayne had to come back against West Craven.

The Eagles owned a 4-3 lead after three innings before falling apart defensively in the fourth. Three errors, three hits and aggressive base running helped the Saints push across four runs and reclaim the lead at 5-4.

Two consecutive passed balls yielded two sixth-inning runs for the visitors.

"We capitalized on some of their mistakes," said McKee.

Nathan Fail batted 1-for-4 and emerged the team's main thief, stealing five bases in the regulation seven-inning game. Matthew Holloman went 1-for-4 and stole two bases. Josh Narron finished the day 2-for-2 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Overall, Southern Wayne was 10-for-10 on stolen bases.

Brady Wiggins chipped in two hits and a double. Austin Hood doubled in a 1-for-4 effort.

Ashton Langston (7-3) went the distance on the mound. He struck out two and didn't allow a walk. The Eagles collected eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and benefited from six Southern Wayne errors.

West Craven (9-13) concluded its season 7-9 in the ECC.