Snow Hill ends season at Pitt County
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 14, 2004 1:55 PM
GREENVILLE -- First-year Pitt County Post 39 Senior American Legion coach Mike Mullis usually believes in the motto, "celebrate a win until midnight."
"I think I'll let them celebrate this one until tomorrow afternoon," he decided following the second game of the Area 1 East South Division first-round series on Tuesday night against Snow Hill.
Post 39, who finished second in the division standings, erased an early 5-0 deficit and claimed a nail-biting 12-10 win over Snow Hill at Guy Smith Stadium on Tuesday night. With the win, Pitt County moves on to face the winner of the third game in Wayne County and New Bern's series scheduled for tonight at Mount Olive.
Game one of the semifinals is slated to start Friday as Pitt County (19-3) would travel to first-place Wayne County and would host fourth-place New Bern.
After putting up a much better fight compared to a 12-5 loss in game one on Monday, Snow Hill finished the season with a 10-12 mark after posting a 5-5 mark in division play -- good for third.
"They could have came in here and laid down, but these kids had a lot of heart and a lot of guts. I admire that," Snow Hill coach James Fulghum said.
Snow Hill starter Blake Herring, a rising sophomore at Lenoir Community College, gave up eight runs in the first two innings, but bounced back to give up just one more run in the next five. Brian Ford connected on a solo home run in the seventh to mark his third hit of the game as his sixth RBI gave Pitt County a slim 9-8 edge.
Jordan Scott, who doubled to lead off the eighth, helped Post 94 counter as he reached third and then scored on back-to-back past balls by the Pitt County catcher to tie the game. With two outs in the eighth, Jordy Davis doubled home Conway to put Post 94 in front 10-9. Davis' RBI marked Snow Hill's seventh run scored with two outs.
Fulghum lifted Herring for right-hander Chip Wall in the bottom of the eighth due to a high pitch-count as Pitt County's Alex B. White started a three-run rally in the eighth with a base hit. Ryan Graepel, Brandon Scott and Mark Letchworth went on to drive in runs off of Wall in the eighth -- pushing Post 39 back ahead 12-10.
It looked as if Wall, who got the loss, would escape the eighth with just one run allowed, but Post 94 was unable to turn a tough 6-4-3 double-play that would have ended the inning with the score at 10-10.
"Blake was about spent. He threw a lot of pitches in those first two innings," Fulghum said. "Throwing him one more inning is not as important as him not being able to pitch next year."
Snow Hill's Cody Fuquay reached on an infield single to start the ninth off of Aubrey Edens, but was doubled off on a soft pop up to the mound -- hindering any attempt at another rally. Edens picked up the save, while Brian Hill got the win in one inning of relief work.
In a game where both teams combined for 27 hits -- including 11 that went for extra bases -- Snow Hill struck the first blows, only to see Pitt County come back with equally damaging
Fuquay capped a five-run first inning with a two out, three-run homer over the left field fence -- ending Pitt County starter Steven Cherry's short outing. Fuquay finished with three hits and four RBI, while Matthew Tyndall delivered four singles and drove in one run.
Pitt County's first six hitters banged out eight total hits in the first two innings and accounted for all eight runs as Post 39 jumped ahead 8-5 after two. Snow Hill continued to trail by three until Fuquay drove in one run in the fifth, and Joe Wade delivered a two-RBI double with two outs in the sixth to pull Post 94 back even at 8-8.
John Conway contributed two hits and scored three runs for Snow Hill.
"No lead is safe in this park," Fulghum said. "Most everybody in both lineups had at least one good at bat tonight."
2004 Area I East
South Division Playoffs
First round -- Best-of-3
(at Guy Smith Stadium, Greenville)
Snow Hill 500 012 020 -- 10 14 3
Pitt Co. 39 530 000 13x -- 12 13 2
Leading hitters -- Snow Hill -- Cody Fuquay 3-4, HR, 4 RBI; John Conway 2-4, 3 runs; Joe Wade 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Jordy Davis 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Matthew Tyndall 4-5, RBI. Pitt County -- Brian Ford 3-4, HR, 2B, 6 RBI; Brandon Scott 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 runs; Mark Letchworth 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Aubrey Edens 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Herring 7 10 9 9 2 5
Wall (L) 1 3 3 3 1 0
Cherry 2Ú3 3 5 5 1 1
Scott 61Ú3 8 3 3 1 2
Ford 0 1 1 1 1 0
Hill (W) 1 1 1 1 1 1
Edens (S) 1 1 0 0 0 0
Ford faced two batters in the eighth.
WP -- Wall (2). PB -- White (2).
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