Post 11 knocks off Beaufort County
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 30, 2004 1:57 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Being out-hit 7-4 hardly sounds like the normal formula for winning a baseball game, especially in convincing fashion.
Wayne County's Senior American Legion team did just that on Tuesday night, defeating non-division opponent Beaufort County 9-1 at Scarborough Field.
Post 11 ran the bases aggressively, stealing seven bases against a trio of Beaufort County hurlers, who never consistently found the strike zone. On the night, Post 11 walked nine times, was hit by four pitches and moved up on five wild pitches.
Wayne County (14-3) quickly turned a 2-0 lead after three innings into a 6-0 cushion for starting left-hander Grant Sasser, who had a stout, sixth outing of the season.
Sasser (2-1) faced only one batter off of the minimum through six innings of shutout work, yielding only two hits. The rising sophomore rarely got behind in the count, issuing no walks and striking out three. The southpaw was perfect in his final four innings.
"I challenged him after the third inning to get ahead of hitters right to start with and he did," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "He's very coachable. Not only does he listen to what you ask him to do, he does what you ask him to do.
"He gets better every day."
Sasser and relievers Ashton Langston and Garrett Davis benefited from errorless defensive play behind them as Wayne County turned two double plays. Sasser started a 1-6-3 double play to end the second. Second baseman Austin Hood and shortstop Jesse Lancaster turned a 4-6-3 twin-killing to close the game in the top of the ninth with Davis on the mound.
Wayne County catcher David Combs had his team's only three hits in the first seven innings of play. Combs smacked a run-scoring double in the second and drove in two more in the fourth with a single off Post 15 reliever Chris Davis to push Wayne County ahead 4-0.
Post 11 scored two more runs in the fourth as Garrett Sutton stole two bases, then raced home on an errant throw by the catcher. Jes Snyder, who reached on a fielder's choice, raced all the way home to score from first on a throwing error by the third baseman, who attempted to throw out Erik Lovett on a ground ball.
"We walked several times and we got some good jumps," Reaves said. "We are trying to be a little more aggressive on the bases. You don't have to be a speed demon to run bases ... if you get good reads and pick good counts to run on."
Wayne County went up 7-0 when Jesse Lancaster came home a wild pitch after swiping third. From the lead-off spot, Lancaster walked twice, was hit by two pitches and scored twice. Lancaster came across for Post 11's final run of the game when he was plated by Jes Snyder's RBI double down the left-field line in the eighth. Snyder has a team-leading 28 hits on the season.
One batter later, Snyder scored on an RBI ground out by Lovett, who increased his team-high RBI total to 33.
Beaufort County (5-4) got its only run in the top of the seventh as Travis Rogerson plated Cory Calloway, who finished 2-4, from third with a ground out to first.
Wayne County takes on Area One East/South Division foe Kinston tonight at home at 7 p.m.
"It seems like the kids are gelling a little bit. You don't just notice it on the field, you notice in the dug out," Reaves said.
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