06/25/04 — Winning on the road -- with authority

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Winning on the road -- with authority

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 25, 2004 1:57 PM

WINTERVILLE -- The South Central High School pitcher's mound and home plate circle was still covered until the first pitch at 7 p.m. with the threat of inclement weather looming on Thursday evening. Wayne County's Senior American Legion team didn't have time for their traditional, pre-game rituals.

No batting practice. No infield warmups. No problem.

Post 11 jumped out of the gate with at least two runs in each of the first four innings against Pitt County Post 160, which proved to be more than enough support for a trio of Wayne County pitchers in a 15-2 road win in seven innings.

Wayne County (12-3, 3-1 Area One East/South) snapped a three-game road losing streak with its first seven-inning win of the season. Catcher David Combs, who had four RBI and scored three times, paced four Wayne County players with two hits.

Jes Snyder and Airlon Vinson had two RBI each, with Snyder providing a double and scoring twice. Todd MacCoy added two hits, including a double and two runs scored.

"I'm not sure if we aren't better like that," said Wayne County coach Brad Reaves of his team's ability to produce without pre-game warm-ups. "A lot of the college boys played 40 ball games, and the high school boys played 26 plus our 15 so far this year. I'm sure they're all like, 'let's go.' "

The Wayne County bats sizzled from the start, and starter Mike Oglesby took a cue from his offense.

Oglesby (1-1) struck out 10 batters in four innings of work, yielding just two runs in the fourth inning on three hits. Oglesby had at least two strikeouts in each of his four innings and fanned the side in the second and fourth.

"He's the freshest arm we've got because he didn't throw at all this year," Reaves said. "He's raw and he's still learning how to pitch."

Garrett Davis and Jesse Lancaster combined on three innings of no-hit relief to close out the 10-run, mercy-rule win. The trio combined to strike out a season-high 16 batters, and the effort was Wayne County's fifth double-digit strike out performance of the season.

Offensively, all but one starter reached base safely and seven starters recorded hits, while the Post 160 defense committed four costly errors in the first four innings. Four of Wayne County's five runs in the first and second innings proved to be unearned against starter Richard Barnhill.

Post 11 continued to stretch its lead in the third and fourth as eight and nine hitters Combs and Garrett Sutton had back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the third to push the margin to 8-0 against Barnhill, who had five wild pitches during his outing.

In the fourth, Wayne County went on to bat around against Post 160 reliever Corey Skinner, who threw 49 pitches and walked four during the six-run rally that gave Wayne County a 14-0 lead. Barnhill and Skinner threw a whopping 147 pitches in the first four innings.

Snyder and Combs provided one, two-RBI single each in the fourth, with Erik Lovett and Vinson reaching safely with singles. The balance through the order clearly pleased Reaves.

"We haven't been doing that," he said. "We've had groups of people hitting in clusters, but they seem to all hit tonight."

Post 11 returns to the road today with a non-division tilt at Beaufort County with a 7 p.m. start scheduled at Washington High School.

Wayne Co 323 601 0 -- 15 11 1 Pitt Post 160 000 200 0 -- 2 3 5

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Jes Snyder 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Todd MacCoy 2-4, 2B, 2 runs; Airlon Vinson 2-4, 2 RBI; David Combs 2-4, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 runs. Pitt County Post 160 -- Matt Scoggins 1-4, RBI.


Wayne County

Oglesby (W, 1-1) 4 3 2 2 3 10

Davis 1 0 0 0 1 2

Lancaster 2 0 0 0 1 4

Pitt Co. Post 160

Barnhill (L) 3 6 8 4 1 6

Skinner 4 5 7 6 4 2

WP -- Barnhill (5); Skinner (1); Oglesby (2). HBP -- Jamison 2 (by Oglesby, by Lancaster); Hopkins (by Lancaster); Lancaster (by Barnhill).