06/15/04 — Post 11 Senior Legion falls at Garner

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Post 11 Senior Legion falls at Garner

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 15, 2004 1:55 PM

GARNER -- The Wayne County Post 11 baseball team will have to wait at least 10 days to break its three-game, road losing streak.

Right-handers Leif Baker and Jeff Hatcher combined for a five-hitter as Garner Post 232 claimed a 3-2 victory against Wayne County on Monday evening at Trojan Park. Baker and Hatcher held Post 11 to a .152 batting average -- well below its season average of .303.

Garner snapped Wayne County's three-game win streak and avenged its season-opening loss to Post 11.

"That's the two best pitchers we've seen all year, and we needed to see that," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "And we saw some things (as a coaching staff) we needed to see tonight. I told the guys there was nothing wrong with that. We saw some good things tonight out of (Mike) Oglesby, out of (Grant) Sasser and out of (Philip) Pennington."

Oglesby, a right-hander, stayed ahead in the count all night and fell behind to just one batter. The former Eastern Wayne standout allowed two earned runs on five hits and got great defensive play behind him. Post 11 turned double plays in the third and sixth innings.

A balk call set up Garner's first run in the opening inning.

Erik Lovett tied the game in the sixth with a solo home run -- his team-leading sixth of the season. Lovett foiled Baker's no-hit bid with a fourth-inning single.

Oglesby surrendered a lead-off single to Matt Medlin to start the Garner sixth. Mark Locklear hit a fly ball into right field that the defense misplayed. The single turned into an RBI double as Post 232 reclaimed the lead 2-1. Wayne County (9-3) turned an inning-ending double play which left Locklear at second.

"I was tickled to death with Oglesby," Reaves said. "He proved that he's going to need to get a lot of innings this summer. He's fresh, too. The only time he got hurt were two mistakes where he put the ball up and they ran them out there in the gap.

"Still, he didn't give up but two runs in six innings."

Oglesby gave way to the left-handed Sasser, who retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh. Then Sasser got a pitch up in the zone against Michael Pullen, who laced a single up the middle. J.P. Primus plated Pullen with a double that should have been just a base hit. Garner led 3-1.

"If we can see (in the outfield), we catch those two balls and they don't score," Reaves said.

Pennington threw a perfect ninth and retired the final two batters on strikeouts. Overall, the three Post 11 hurlers combined to throw 96 pitches in the regulation nine-inning game. They allowed one walk and struck out six. Oglesby took the loss.

Wayne County played error-free ball.

"We found some defense tonight that's been hiding from us," Reaves said.

Unlike losses against New Bern and Wilson, this narrow defeat didn't disappoint Reaves. He feared the team might be a little flat after an emotional come-from-behind victory against Wilmington Post 10 late Sunday evening. Post 11 trailed 4-0, but prevailed 8-4 on the strength of Lovett's three-run home run in the sixth inning.

"This does nothing but get us ready for the playoffs," Reaves said. "I told them we have to put two halves (of a game) together. We didn't swing it tonight, but we played defense. When we put them both together, we're going to be all right."

Post 11 will enjoy a seven-day break and return to action next Monday at home against Chapel Hill. Wayne County entertains Pitt County East in a key Area I East South Division game Tuesday and hits the road for a non-division outing Wednesday at Ahoskie.

The Chapel Hill contest begins a stretch of 10 games in 10 days for Wayne County.

Wayne County 000 001 010 -- 2 5 0

Garner 100 001 10x -- 3 7 1

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Erik Lovett 2-3, HR, RBI; Philip Pennington 1-5; Jes Snyder 1-4; Airlon Vinson 1-4. Garner -- Matt Medlin 3-4; Mark Locklear 1-4, 2B, RBI; J.P. Primus 2-3, 2B, RBI; Michael Pullen 1-2.

DP -- Wayne County 2. LOB -- Wayne County 8, Garner 3. SB -- Vinson. SH -- Bailey.


Wayne County Post 11

Oglesby (L, 0-1) 6 5 2 2 1 3

Sasser 1 2 1 1 0 1

Pennington 1 0 0 0 0 2

Garner Post 232

Baker (W) 7 4 2 1 3 4

Hatcher (S) 2 1 0 0 1 2

WP -- Baker.