Snow Hill falls to North Raleigh in tourney finale
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 14, 2004 1:56 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- A matter of timing.
Snow Hill Post 94 received the timely hit in a come-from-behind victory against Duplin County on Saturday afternoon, but couldn't duplicate the same feat Sunday against North Raleigh Post 297. The reigning Area I champions erupted for four runs, including three on extra-base hits, in the 10th inning and prevailed 6-2 in the fifth-place game of the inaugural Wayne County Post 11 American Legion Baseball Invitational.
Post 94 right-hander Blake Herring kept Post 297 off balance through five innings. The rising sophomore at Lenoir Community College allowed just three hits and threw 37 strikes on 50 pitches during that stretch. But North Raleigh (9-1) found its timing in the sixth inning.
Lead-off hitter Brandon Ausley ignited the game-tying rally by ripping a two-strike fastball up the middle. Herring slapped his glove after he just missed fielding the hard-hit grounder. Mitch Emmert followed with an infield bunt single and the Post 94 defense failed to cover first base.
Daniel Smith laced a single into left center field for the 1-1 tie.
"We working right on through until the sixth inning," veteran Post 94 skipper James "Rabbit" Fulghum said. "Blake was hitting his spots real good and he missed a couple of pitches. The third and fourth time around, they were a little more prepared. They swung the bats good."
Each team lost scoring opportunities until the ninth.
Post 297's Philip Wright led off with a single and moved into scoring position on B.J. Dail's sacrifice bunt. After a ground out, the Post 94 defense bobbled a routine ground ball to give North Raleigh a 2-1 lead.
Snow Hill (4-5) answered in its half of the inning. Jordy Davis, who batted 3-for-4, slapped a single into left field. Brian James advanced Davis with a sacrifice bunt. One out later, Jon Allen Conway plated Davis for the 2-2 tie with a sharply-hit single to left field.
Fulghum pulled Herring after the ninth and replaced him with James. James yielded a lead-off single to Smith, but got the next two batters out. Then Post 297 found its offensive rhythm with four consecutive base hits, including two doubles and a triple. Before Post 94 could record its final out of the inning, North Raleigh had seized a four-run lead.
"We didn't have anybody else besides him and Blake," Fulghum said. "He didn't know whether he was going to play or not until late, so he got out of shape. If he can get back to where he was last year, that would help us a whole lot.
"We don't have many pitchers who can go nine innings and we're trying to get five-plus, our goal every night, out of them."
Post 94 left 11 runners on base including 10 in scoring position. Fulghum's team left six stranded in the first four innings combined and finished the game hitting 2-for-15 with runners at either second or third.
Davis turned in the only multiple-hit performance for Snow Hill. Four teammates provided at least one hit as Post 94 fell to 1-1 in extra-inning games this season.
2004 Wayne County Post 11
(at Mount Olive College)
North Raleigh 000 001 001 3 -- 6 15 2
Snow Hill 100 000 001 0 -- 2 7 2
Leading hitters -- North Raleigh -- Brandon Ausley 3-6; Daniel Smith 3-5, RBI; Philip Wright 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI; B.J. Dail 2-4, 2B, RBI; Bill Edwards 1-5, 2B, RBI. Snow Hill -- Jordy Davis 3-4; Matthew Tyndall 1-3, RBI; Jordan Scott 1-2; Jon Allen Conway 1-5, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
North Raleigh Post 297
McKay 6 4 1 0 4 3
Begley (W) 4 3 1 1 0 1
Snow Hill Post 97
Herring 9 10 2 1 0 5
James (L) 1 5 4 4 0 0
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