Youngsters get job done against Ahoskie
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 4, 2004 1:57 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Only rising sophomores, Wayne County pitchers Grant Sasser and Garrett Davis may not have the experience of the veteran pitchers on the Legion staff.
Still, the young duo proved Thursday night at Scarborough Field against Ahoskie that they could be a key part of Post 11's run this season.
Sasser, who picked up the win in five innings of work, and Davis combined to give up only four hits in eight innings. The duo recorded strikeouts in Wayne County's 9-4 win against Post 102.
It was Sasser's first Legion start and second appearance, while Davis made his Post 11 debut. Sasser gave up four runs on three hits, but consistently stayed around the strike zone, mixed his pitches well and let the defense work behind him in picking up the win.
Davis allowed only one hit and struck out four in three-innings with a fastball that was clocked consistently near 90 miles-per-hour.
"I'm not going to throw them right in the fire to start with, but those two kids are competitors," Wayne County coach Brad Reeves said. "They've got bright futures ahead of them, and they both threw the ball real well.
"They could be a huge part of the success of this team."
Phillip Cunningham came on to toss a perfect ninth, striking out the side, as the three hurlers combined for 11 strikeouts and benefited from errorless -- sometimes sparkling -- defense behind them.
Post 11 third baseman Jesse Lancaster lunged quickly to snare a fast-moving ground ball to his left in the top of third, then rapidly fired to Airlon Vinson at first to retire Chris Lawrence.
Garrett Sutton made a diving catch in shallow left-center field after a long run to track down a fly ball off of the bat of Lee Britt with one out in the fourth.
Todd MacCoy ran down a couple of well-hit drives to left-field by Ahoskie's first two batters to open the game.
"We are playing some real good defense in the outfield," Reaves said.
Offensively, Wayne County continued its early season trend of scoring in bunches.
Ahoskie posted a pair of two-out, RBI hits in the first to take a 2-0 lead as Post 102 starter Corey Castelloe held Wayne County hitless in the first two frames. Post 11 eventually caught on the left-hander, exploding for five runs in the third.
MacCoy, who finished with three hits and four RBI, and Airlon Vinson led the surge in the third with one, two-RBI hit each with MacCoy doubling and Vinson adding a single.
Lancaster reached base in all four of his plate appearances and got the rally going with a double to right-center field.
"I don't know what it is, but we are scoring in bunches," Reeves said. "I was beginning to wonder if we had run out of hits after last night, but we scratched for a few."
Ahoskie reliever Matt Schwab managed to keep Post 11 at bay during the middle innings, tossing three scoreless middle innings.
Post 102 pulled closer in the top of the fifth when Chris Lawrence and Brandon Matthews drove in Ahoskie's final two runs to make the score 5-4.
From there, Wayne County continued its solid pitching and defense and tacked on four runs in the seventh and eighth.
Erik Lovett doubled, then scored on Ahoskie's third error in the seventh, before MacCoy plated two more with a two-out single in the eighth. Philip Pennington scored MaCoy with another timely, two-out hit to push the game to its final margin at 9-4.
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