Post 11's pitching pops Pitt County
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 23, 2004 1:55 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Pitching.
The ability to answer a challenge.
All those characteristics aptly describe the 6-3 victory Wayne County Post 11 claimed against Area I East South Division leader Pitt County Post 39 on Tuesday evening.
Post 11 pitchers Adam Williams, Ashton Langston and Philip Cunning-ham combined for a seven-hitter in the regulation nine-inning contest at Scarborough Field. Wayne County's defense overcame three errors by turning three double plays.
Pitt County silenced the Post 11 faithful by claiming a two-run lead in the top half of the first inning. However, Wayne County responded with a four-run outburst in its at-bat thanks to three Post 39 errors, including two in the outfield.
"They scored, we come back to take the lead and then we put a zero (on defense) on the board (in the second). We haven't been doing that, either," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "Other teams have been coming right back and scoring."
Williams, working on 10 days rest, allowed the first two Post 39 batters to reach base in the second. Second baseman Austin Hood and first baseman Airlon Vinson combined for a double play to help Williams escape that jam.
Pitt County (9-2, 3-2 South) threatened to score in the third inning.
Williams hit Jason Cargile, but Cargile got caught in an inning-ending twin killing on a heads-up play by Garrett Davis. Davis snagged a fly ball in shallow center field and threw out Cargile, who tried to get back to second base, for the third out.
Wayne County (11-3, 3-1) added a run in its third at-bat.
Jes Snyder tripled to right center field and scored on Todd MacCoy's fielder's choice ground out. It was just Snyder's fourth extra-base hit of the season, while MacCoy collected his ninth RBI in 51 plate appearances.
"I think from the very first inning everybody was expecting such a great game, and it starts off not going that way," Post 39 coach Mike Mullis said. "I think everybody is wondering 'what's the deal here?'
"My apology is to the fans who thought they were going to see a good one tonight. That's two quality American Legion baseball teams who were on the field tonight, and they showed up a little better than we did."
Neither team relinquished too much defensively after the third inning.
Williams found his rhythm and retired five of the final six batters he faced before giving way to Langston. A lanky right-hander, Langston benefited from a double play in the sixth, but couldn't escape again in the seventh.
Tanner Jones' sacrifice fly to center scored Brandon Manning and closed Wayne County's lead to 6-3. But just like Williams, the 6-foot-5 Langston retired five of the final six batters he faced.
Cunningham threw the ninth and earned the save.
"They did a nice job stacking their pitching," Mullis said. "You start with a lefty, a guy who throws pitches where he wants them with good location and then comes back with the other two guys.
"They each had a different look and that's when you've got to make adjustments. We just didn't do it tonight."
Pitt County batted .219 for the game, a few points above Wayne County's defensive average of .200 it had recorded through 14 contests.
Snyder batted 2-for-3 and has a team-leading 22 hits for the season. Hood contributed two hits in four plate appearances. Lead-off batter Philip Pennington contributed a double, while Vinson chipped in with an RBI single in the sixth.
Wayne County hit .188 for the game, well below its season average of .292.
"We're not going to hit the ball a lot," Reaves said. "We're going to have to win on seven, eight or nine hits. I think that our pitching is good enough for us to do that.
"But I've still got to give some kids a rest. That's going to be the key to us winning."
Post 11 continues play today against Ahoskie Post 102 at Hertford County High School. Game time is 7 p.m.
Pitt County 39 200 000 100 -- 3 6 6
Wayne County 401 010 00x -- 6 6 3
Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Philip Pennington 1-4, 2B; Jes Snyder 2-3, 3B; Austin Hood 2-4, RBI; Airlon Vinson 1-3, RBI. Pitt County -- Brandon Scott 2-5, 2B; Tanner Jones 1-4; Jason Cargile 1-3; Brian Ford 1-4; Aubrey Edens 1-3; Brandon Manning 1-3.
DP -- Wayne County 3. LOB -- Wayne County 8, Pitt County 8. SH -- Jones. SB -- Cargile, Hood. CS -- Snyder, Hood, Davis.
IP H R ER BB SO
Pitt County Post 39
Bullock (L, 0-1) 41Ú3 3 5 1 5 4
White 32Ú3 3 1 1 1 4
Wayne County Post 11
Williams 5 4 2 1 1 3
Langston (W, 2-1) 4 2 1 1 1 1
Cunningham (S) 1 0 0 0 0 0
WP -- Bullock, White. HBP -- Cargile (by Williams); White (by Williams); Manning (by Langston).
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