Snow Hill wallops Kinston, clinches playoff spot
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 9, 2004 1:56 PM
KINSTON -- Snow Hill and Kinston's American Legion teams had identical 3-5 Area I East South Division records, and nearly identical overall marks heading into Thursday's first head-to-head match-up at Kinston High School.
Despite the similarities, there seemed to be no mystery as to which of the two teams were hungrier for a postseason berth following Post 94's 18-3 win in eight innings.
Snow Hill (9-10, 4-5) clinched the fourth and final Area One East playoff spot with the convincing win heading into tonight's regular season finale at home with Kinston (8-12, 3-6). Another Post 94 win would set up a tie for third place in the division with New Bern, in which Snow Hill would own the tie-breaker.
Following a one-hour rain delay, Kinston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings. Steadily, Post 43 (8-12, 3-6) came unraveled through the middle and late stages of the game -- especially on defense.
Post 43 committed nine errors in the final five innings, leading to seven unearned runs combined off starter Richard Nobles and Chad Kirby.
Snow Hill took advantage of the extra outs through the lineup as all but one starter registered a hit, while each starter reached base and scored at least once. Six different Post 94 players registered an RBI during the 18-hit performance.
Designated hitter Matthew Tyndall delivered a grand slam home run over the left-field fence with no outs in the eighth -- giving Snow Hill a 14-3 lead. The towering blast capped a four-hit, three-double, five-RBI performance for Tyndall.
Snow Hill went on to score four more in the eighth as it outscored Kinston 18-0 in the last five innings.
"I think Matthew got us going tonight. He swung the bat awfully good," Snow Hill coach James Fulghum said. "We got a lot of help though. They helped us out a lot on defense."
Post 94 scratched for two runs in the fourth to start the outburst and got to within 3-2. Snow Hill starter Blake Herring seemed to take a cue from his offense after yielding three walks and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch during a rocky, third inning.
The right-hander settled into a steady rhythm in the middle innings and blanked Kinston, giving up just one more hit with no walks in the next four. Herring (2-3), who started a 1-6-3 double-play to end the sixth, benefited from errorless defensive play behind him. Herring enduced seven ground outs as the infield -- especially first baseman Cody Fuquay -- stayed busy. Fuquay had 13 put-outs and three assists on the game.
"After one bad inning, he really settled down and did a good job," Fulghum said. "That's exactly what we needed."
Tyndall was far from alone offensively as five Snow Hill players posted multi-hit performances. Shortstop John Allen Conway had four hits in five plate appearances and scored two runs, while Blake Taylor had three hits and scored three times. Brian James, who had two hits, and Joe Wade drove in two runs each.
Lead-off hitter Jordan Scott had two hits and an RBI.
"Since early in the season, that's one of the better hitting games we have had," Fulghum said. "We had better approaches at the plate and sprayed the ball around the field."
Reggie Dixon paced Kinston with three hits and an RBI. Nobles, who gave up just three earned runs, got the loss for Post 43.
Right-hander Jordy Davis is expected to get the start in tonight's regular season finale for Snow Hill.
Snow Hill 000 262 08 -- 18 18 0
Kinston 012 000 00 -- 3 5 9
Leading hitters -- Snow Hill -- Matthew Tyndall 4-5, HR, 3 2B, 5 RBI; Jordan Scott 2-5, RBI; Blake Taylor 3-5, 3 runs; John Allen Conway 4-5, 2 runs; Joe Wade 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Brian James 2-5, 2 RBI. Kinston -- Reggie Dixon 3-4, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Herring (W, 2-3) 7 4 3 3 3 4
Grady 1 1 0 0 1 0
Nobles (L) 42Ú3 8 8 3 2 2
Kirby 32Ú3 10 10 8 2 2
WP -- Nobles (2); Kirby; Herring. HBP -- Scott (by Nobles); Novicki (by Grady).
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