American Legion baseball -- Snow Hill wins in 13 innings
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 10, 2004 1:56 PM
SNOW HILL -- New Bern American Legion coach Gary Smith couldn't help but leave the James R. Fulghum Athletic Complex late Wednesday night without second guessing himself.
With an 8-1 lead after six innings, Smith lifted starting pitcher Adam Warren, who had dominated in a 12-strikeout performance. Then he began emptying his bench, leaving just one starter on the field in the late innings.
Post 24 (5-2, 2-1 Area One East/South) made five errors in innings eight through 13 as the moves clearly backfired.
Snow Hill (3-3, 1-1) rallied for eight runs in the eighth and ninth innings combined off of reliever Brian Fuller and the shaky New Bern defense. The game went into extra innings before Post 94 eventually came away with a dramatic 11-10 win in a 13-inning, four-hour contest.
A deep double by John Allen Conway in the bottom of the 13th moved Jamie Ham, who started the inning with a walk, to third. Ham, one of a handful of Post 94 reserves who proved key in the win, slid safely home on a wild pitch for the game-winning run.
"I obviously wouldn't have done things the same way, because we ended up losing a game that we should have won," Smith said. "The guys we ran out there just didn't get it done. That's not to say they can't, they just didn't."
New Bern's loss spoiled a stellar first six innings of work by Warren on the mound.
Warren hit his spots well. He got ahead of the hitters with a solid fastball and mixed in a fast, late-breaking curve that seemed to bewitch Snow Hill batters. Twelve of the 18 outs Warren recorded were by strikeout, including punching out the side in the first and fifth innings.
"Warren pitched super tonight. He had us handcuffed," Snow Hill coach James Fulghum said. "We faced good pitching last night, and we faced a good one tonight. That's got to make you better."
The Post 24 offense backed up Warren with plenty of run support, tallying two-run innings in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth off of Snow Hill starter Jordy Davis and reliever Brian James. Matt Sanders led the way with two RBI during the stretch that saw New Bern take a seemingly commanding 8-1 lead.
Fuller tossed a perfect seventh before things quickly came unglued for New Bern, and Snow Hill started gaining confidence and momentum. Post 94's Chip Wall led off the eighth with a double, starting a rally that would send 10 batters to the plate. Ham, Jared Williamson and Tommy Cobb (all non-starters), as well as Jamie Clifton, all drove in runs during the five-run eighth.
"We had some boys come of the bench and hit the ball pretty good," Fulghum said. "We got a ways to go, but we are getting better."
After scoring a run to make it 9-6 in the ninth, New Bern committed three errors in the bottom half -- leading to three unearned runs. Fuller hit one batter and walked James with the bases loaded, bringing in the tying run.
"We just kind of fell apart," Smith said.
Snow Hill's Blake Taylor, who picked up the win in five innings of relief, tossed three shutout innings before Post 24 scratched for a run in the 12th to retake the lead. Post 94 countered with a run in the bottom half on Taylor's sacrifice fly, scoring James.
Taylor blanked New Bern in the 13th, finishing the relief stint with a strike out of Kenny Connor.
"James and Taylor came in and quieted down their offense pretty good," Fulghum said.
New Bern 200 222 001 001 0 -- 10 13 8
Snow Hill 010 000 053 001 1 -- 11 13 3
Leading hitters -- New Bern -- Chris Beck 2-4; Matt Sanders 1-3, 2 RBI; Ben Fuller 1-5, 2 RBI; Chris Holder 2-3. Snow Hill -- Jordan Scott 3-7; Blake Taylor 2-7, RBI; Jamie Ham 2-3, RBI, 3 runs; John Conway 2-6, 2B; Tommy Cobb 1-1, 2 RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Adam Warren 6 3 1 0 2 12
Brian Fuller (L) 7 10 10 6 5 2
Jordy Davis 41Ú3 4 6 4 3 5
Brian James 32Ú3 5 2 2 1 3
Jordy Grady 0 1 1 1 0 0
Blake Taylor (W) 5 3 1 1 3 2
Grady faced one batter in the ninth
HBP -- Ben Fuller (by Davis); Ball (by James); Clifton (by Brian Fuller); Fuquay (by Fuller)
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