07/25/04 — Wayne 14's fall in State tourney

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Wayne 14's fall in State tourney

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 25, 2004 2:00 AM

KENLY -- Mac Allen said it most accurately when talking about Babe Ruth tournament baseball.

"The best teams do not always win the tournament," he said. "You have to get the breaks, the luck, the calls, to win it."

Allen's Wayne County 14-year-old all-stars never caught any of them in two games at the State tournament in Kenly. After falling in ten innings Friday night, Wayne County bounced back and fought hard Saturday afternoon against Dare County before bowing out of the tournament with a 9-8 defeat.

Wayne County was eliminated along with Washington, who was taken out by Nash County 3-1 earlier in the afternoon.

Dare County opened the game with a run in the first inning as leadoff hitter James Daniels got on base with a hit, advanced around on a passed ball and a wild pitch, and scored when J.J. Allen's line drive caromed off an infielder s leg.

The 1-0 lead was not long-lived. Wayne County muscled the lead away with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. There was a dispute when the first Wayne County runner to score did not touch home, but Dare County did not properly challenge the play and the run stood. Holt Rains drove in a run in the three-run rally.

The third inning proved disastrous for Wayne as Dare County took advantage of a leadoff walk and an error to send 11 men to the plate and pile up seven runs. Key to the inning was a two-run error on Matt Harris' single and a two-out, two-run hit by Ryan Hunter as Dare jumped out to an 8-3 lead.

Wayne County answered right back with four runs to close the gap to 8-7. The locals converted a bases-loaded, no-out situation into three runs as Jordan Carr beat a throw to home to score and Jay Rose scored on another infield grounder. Zach Wright scored on a wild pitch and Stephen Strouse added an RBI by driving in Nolan Lancaster with a single.

From there, Wayne County sought the breakthrough hit that never came.

Dare added an important insurance run in the sixth inning as J.J. Allen hit his third RBI on his third hit of the game, scoring Daniels.

Wayne staged a last-ditch rally when two errors put runners on base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jay Rose scored on one of the errors and the tying run made it to third base, but a ground ball ended the threat and the season for Wayne County.

Pitchers Cody Richards, Ryan Ford and Taylor Allen threw a sound game for Wayne County, while Dare County pitcher Allen Stallings went the distance and got the win.

"Last night and today, we just couldn't string our hits together," said Allen. "We got excellent pitching, we hit, they hit ... We were just a couple of breaks from being 2-0 and in the tournament."

Allen said his team was as good as any in the tournament, but "that doesn't mean anything in tournament play. That's why you play the game on the field."

Dare Co. 107 001 0 -- 9 8 5

Wayne Co. 034 000 1 -- 8 8 3

Leading hitters -- Dare County -- J.J. Allen 3-3, 3 RBI; Ryan Hunter 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Allen Stallings 1-2, 2B, RBI; Ethan Farner 1-1, RBI. Wayne County -- Zach Wright 2-3, Ryan Ford 1-3; Holt Rains 1-4, 2B, RBI; Stephen Strouse 1-3 RBI; Nolan Lancaster 2B.


Dare County

Stallings (W) 7 8 8 3 1 2

Wayne County

Richards 2 5 6 3 1 2

Ford 1 2 2 1 0 0

Allen (L) 4 1 1 1 4 0

Friday's game

Lumber River 3,

Wayne County 2,

10 innings

KENLY -- In a classic tournament game that featured a lot of good pitching from both sides, Wayne County came up short in its tournament opener Friday as Lumber River beat the locals 3-2 in 10 innings.

Both teams lost out on chances to score throughout the game, as Lumber River left 12 runners on base and Wayne County stranded 14. The wasted opportunities came as both starting pitchers -- Grayson Locklear and Jay Rose -- threw seven impressive innings each, with Locklear striking out six and Rose fanning nine.

Lumber River got a quick 1-0 lead in the opening inning when Landon Lowry opened the game with a sharp single, advanced on a walk and a stolen base and scored as Dewey Deese singled back up the middle.

Wayne answered in the second inning, scoring two runs set up by a sacrifice bunt by Bryant Hill to get runners into scoring position. Then Taylor Allen singled to right field to plate Holt Rains and Jeff Hill for a 2-1 Wayne County lead.

Lumber River used a pair of miscues to tie the game in the fourth. Brent Locklear drew an inning-opening walk, then tried to steal second. The catcher made a perfect throw to second, but no one covered the base and the ball rolled all the way into the outfield, allowing Locklead to third base.

Two pitches later, a wild pitch brought Locklear in to tie the game at 2-2.

In the eighth inning, both pitchers were lifted because of inning restrictions placed on pitchers in Babe Ruth tournaments. Lowry and Allen kept the duel going despite both having to work out of bases-loaded jams in the ninth inning.

Wayne County took a bad break in the ninth when a defensive player was ejected for what the umpire called a flagrantly rough tag on a Lumber River player.

After failing to score a runner from third base in the top of the tenth inning, Wayne County saw its hopes dashed as Allen Jones got on base on a fielder's choice, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice. Ethan Chavis rolled a tough ground ball just past the pitcher, as Chavis dashed to first base and Jones touched home for the win.

Wayne County coach Mac Allen said the defeat was difficult to take, but he knew his team would rebound in Saturday's elimination game.

Wayne Co. 020 000 000 0 -- 2 10 3

Lumber Riv. 100 100 000 1 -- 3 9 2

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Jeff Hill 2-5; Ryan Ford 2-4; Taylor Allen 1-4, 2 RBI. Lumber River -- Landon Lowry 2-3; Dewey Deese 2-4, RBI; Brent Locklear 2-4.


Wayne County

Rose 7 6 2 1 3 9

Allen (L) 22Ú3 3 1 0 1 3

Lumber River

Locklear 7 8 2 0 3 6

Lowry (W) 3 2 0 0 3 3

WP -- Rose.