Post 11 falls to New Bern
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 9, 2004 1:56 PM
NEW BERN -- Wayne County Post 11 American Legion coach Brad Reeves can live with a physical error every now and again. Compounding those miscues with mental breakdowns is what bothers the second-year coach and what eventually caused Post 11 to drop its first contest of the season in a 9-8 loss on the road at Area I East South Division foe New Bern.
New Bern (5-1, 2-0 South) scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to erase an 8-7 deficit as Matt Sanders dropped a single into shallow right field to score Chris Beck, who finished with three hits, for the game-winning run.
Wayne County reliever Ashton Langston had thrown four shutout innings up to that point, yielding only one hit and getting improved play from the defense.
Both teams combined for nine errors, leading to 10 total unearned runs between the two.
"There is no way to stop from making physical errors," Reeves said. "Those things are going to happen, but we compound them with mental errors. The reason that happens is because we don't come ready to play."
Wayne County (6-1, 1-1) bounced off its early game miscues and continued to scratch for runs in the middle to late innings to keep itself in the game.
Erik Lovett's two-out, two-run double in the sixth pulled Wayne County even with Post 24 at 7-7 and got starting pitcher Phillip Cunningham off the hook for a no decision. Cunningham allowed seven hits in four innings of work, but six of his seven runs allowed were unearned.
Lovett emerged again in the top of the ninth with a solo, line-drive home run to right against left-handed starter Sean Noble. The blast gave Wayne County its first lead of the game at 8-7 before New Bern rallied in the home half of the frame.
Wayne County had four errors in the first four innings. After a couple of miscues with one out in the second, Jimmy Lee, Todd Seymore, Mike O'Connor and Chris Beck, who had three hits, all knocked in runs to put New Bern up 4-0 early.
"We had some of those guys 0-2 and 1-2," Reeves said. "They don't need to be squaring up on balls right there."
The bottom half of the Post 11 order did its fair share of damage in the early going. Eighth hitter Matthew Holloman extended the second with a two-out hit, loading the bases for ninth-hitter Jesse Lancaster, who drove in two with a single to right. Lancaster finished with two hits and two RBI on the game.
Seventh-hitter Josh Pate provided a two-out RBI in the third as New Bern held a 5-4 lead early. A botched pickle-play at second allowed Post 24's David Towarnicky to score from third in the bottom of the third before Wayne County escaped further damage when Cunningham tossed to catcher Josh Pate and cut down Pat Ball trying to steal home.
O'Connor scored on an error in the fourth, while Beck increased New Bern's edge to 7-4 by driving in his second run in four innings with an opposite-field double to left. Wayne County's Philip Pennington had a 2-3 performance and drove in MacCoy in the fifth with an opposite-field base hit to right.
"We stepped up and played better baseball, but still there was no enthusiasm," Reeves said. "We don't play with any heart, and I don't understand that."
Post 11 looks to bounce back tonight against Wilson County at Fleming Stadium.
Wayne County 022 012 001 -- 8 9 5
New Bern 041 200 002 -- 9 10 4
Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Erik Lovett 2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Jesse Lancaster 2-4, 2 RBI; Philip Pennington 2-4, RBI. New Bern -- Chris Beck 3-5, 2 RBI; Matt Schott 3-4, 2B.
IP H R ER BB SO
Cunningham 4 7 7 1 1 4
Langston (L) 5 3 2 2 1 2
Noble 8 9 8 4 2 4
Young (W) 1 0 0 0 0 2
HBP -- Vinson (by Noble); MacCoy (by Noble); Sanders (by Cunningham); Towarnicky (by Cunningham); O'Connor (by Langston).
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