By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 8, 2004 2:06 AM
SHELBY -- Kannapolis Post 501 only managed one run and left the bases loaded in a third inning that saw Wayne County commit three consecutive defensive miscues.
Despite Post 501's inability to make the errors hurt worse, Post 11 coach Brad Reaves still believes it changed the game's complexion. Trailing 2-0, Kannapolis took the momentum and claimed a 5-2 win in the quarterfinals of the N.C. American Legion Baseball state tournament on a rainy, Thursday night.
The loss sends Wayne County (28-8) into the losers' bracket, where it will face host Shelby (24-14) at 5 p.m. today. Post 11 must win to keep its championship hopes alive.
"We took the momentum away from ourselves when we gave them six outs in one inning," Reaves said. "That's where it shifted. There are 27 outs, you've got to get 27 and you can't give them 30."
Kannapolis pitcher Blake Ketner turned in Post 501's second complete game in as many nights and boosted his team into a semifinal battle with Area I champion Garner at 8 p.m. tonight.
After trimming Wayne County's lead to 2-1 after three, Kannapolis (32-8) smacked five straight singles against Post 11 starter Garrett Davis -- leading to a three-run fourth that gave Post 501 a 4-2 edge. Sixth hitter Michael Hamilton started the rally as Ryan Petty, Garrett Sherrill, Jonathan Goodman and Kyle Seager also added hits, chasing Davis out of the game.
"I think we got into some predictable counts," Reaves said.
Kannapolis' Eddie Boger capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to right with Mike Oglesby on in relief for Post 11. Oglesby was solid in relief, yielding only one run on two hits with four strikeouts against one walk in 42Ú3 innings. After Jesse Lancaster walked with one out in the third, Wayne County's Erik Lovett posted his second home run of the tourney - blasting Ketner's first offering over the left center-field fence to give Post 11 a 2-0 lead. Lovett now has 47 RBI on the season.
From there, Ketner allowed no runs and only three hits in the final 62Ú3 innings. The right-hander had eight strikeouts against one walk.
Wayne County's Todd MacCoy, who had three hits in four plate appearances, delivered singles up the middle in the third and eighth inning against Ketner. In between MacCoy's two singles, Ketner allowed only one ball to reach the outfield.
"Once he got into the groove, he was back to his normal self," Kannapolis coach Tate Osborne said. "He throws a little two-seam cut fastball, and he works everything off of that."
While Kannapolis did make two errors, Ketner got a couple of run-saving plays from his defense. With two outs in the sixth and MacCoy on third, Goodman, the Post 501 third baseman robbed Wayne County's Josh Pate of a hit with a diving snag to his left.
After Jes Snyder's sacrifice bunt moved Lovett to second for the first out in the eighth, MacCoy ripped his third single of the game to center. Trailing 5-2, Reaves waved Lovett to score, but the throw from center by Petty was a perfect one-hopper to catcher Ryan Query, who applied the tag for the second out.
"I felt like we needed to get back within two going into the last inning," Reaves said. "With the grass wet like it was, I thought they might throw one away. He had to make a perfect throw to get him and I had to take that chance."
Kannapolis got on the board in the third as Petty and Sherrill reached on back-to-back infield errors by the Post 11 defense. The next batter, Goodman, executed a sacrifice bunt and reached when the ball was misplayed by the catcher. Goodman was awarded a hit on the play.
Seager then knocked home Petty with a hit to center -- Kannapolis' first hit of the game against Davis, who finished with four strikeouts. Davis went on to pitch out of the third with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to right. Reaves is leaning towards pitching rising Charlotte right-hander Brett Butts in the elimination game against Shelby today.
"We are still in good shape pitching-wise," Reaves said. "We are going to throw everything we got at them, because we want to stay. We don't want to go home."
2004 N.C. American Legion
Baseball State Tournament
(at Hoyt S. Keeter Stadium, Shelby)
Wayne County 002 000 000 -- 2 6 2
Kannapolis 001 300 10x -- 5 9 2
Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Erik Lovett 2-4, HR, 2 RBI; Todd MacCoy 3-4; Josh Pate 1-4, 2B. Kannapolis -- Kyle Seagar 2-4, RBI; Jonathan Goodman 2-3, RBI; Ryan Query 1-4, RBI; Garrett Sherrill 1-4, RBI.
DP - Kannapolis 1. 1. LOB - Wayne County 6; Kannapolis 7. SH - Snyder. SF - Boger.
IP H R ER BB SO
Davis (L, 4-1) 31Ú3 7 4 3 0 4
Oglesby 42Ú3 2 1 1 1 4
Ketner (W) 9 6 2 2 1 8
WP -- Ketner. HBP -- Snyder (by Ketner).
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