06/09/05 — Wayne County topples Edenton

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Wayne County topples Edenton

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 9, 2005 2:01 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A sloppy start. A solid finish.

Wayne County committed three errors in the first three innings and fell behind 1-0 early to Edenton, but bounced back with flawless defense in the final 52/3 innings and posted a balanced offensive display in a 12-2 win at Scarborough Field in Senior American Legion action.

The Area I East contest was called after 61/2 innings due to the 10-run rule. Wayne County (6-1 overall), winners of four straight, will take a 4-1 division mark into tonight's road contest at New Bern. Edenton fell to 1-2 overall and in the division.

After taking advantage of seven Post 40 errors in the first three innings and claiming a 6-1 lead, Post 11 did the damage itself in innings four and five against Edenton reliever Daniel Boyd.

Austin Hood, who is hitting a stout .478 through seven games, had two doubles during the two-inning rally and drove home David Smeltzer with a two-bagger to left-center field in the fifth, making it 9-2. After Hood's double, Jes Snyder pushed the score to its final margin with a three-run home run to left -- his and Post 11's first round-tripper of the season -- against Boyd.

Hood finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Smeltzer, one of six first-year Senior Legion players in Wednesday's starting lineup, had two hits and drove in one run. Seven of Wayne County's nine starters had at least one hit and all but one reached base. The 12 runs and 11 hits were both season highs for Post 11.

"Everybody contributed, one-to-nine, everybody stepped it up," said Snyder, who is currently hitting .409, "This is a younger team this year, but everybody contributes. We play a lot of 'small-ball' ... can't rely on the long ball as much."

T.J. Hinson improved to 2-0 on the mound, yielding just one earned run on six hits in five innings of work. Hinson hit two batters and walked one with three strikeouts.

Edenton's Graham Elmore started the game with a bunt single, stole second, then came around to score on a misplayed ground ball to make it 1-0.

Wayne County committed one more error in the first and another with one out in the second, but neither of the miscues hurt Post 11. Post 40 got its final run against Hinson in the fifth when John Layton singled home Brian Leary from second with two outs. Edenton stranded 11 runners on the game and left one on base in every inning except the sixth.

In his first career Legion appearance, Dustin Overman, pitching to Rosewood teammate and catcher Smeltzer, came on to toss two innings of scoreless, no-hit relief. Overman struck out four against two, seventh-inning walks.

"We kicked it around to start with and I was a little frustrated," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "I think that happens sometimes when the pitchers aren't throwing strikes consistently. I don't know if T.J. ever really got loose, and that's something we are going to have to work on.

"I'm sure Dustin was a little nervous, because he hasn't pitched at this level and he hasn't been with us. He was a little tender earlier, and this was the first night we could get him back."

Post 40 starter Derrick Simpson picked up the loss in four innings of work and got little help from his defense. Before Wayne County's 12th plate appearance of the game, Edenton had already committed six errors -- leading to five unearned runs. Edenton made one more miscue on a routine ground ball in the third as Brady Wiggins, who reached on a bunt single, came around to score.

Jackson Massey had one hit, walked once and scored three times from the leadoff spot. Wiggins scored twice, Airlon Vinson provided an RBI single to score Hood in the fourth and Will Spence added a single in the third.

"That's the first time we've hit it through the lineup," Reaves said. "Hoody's tearing it up, and I was glad to see Jes hit it hard. I thought they all swung it pretty good."

Notes: Wayne County is outscoring its opposition 44-23 through seven games ... Post 11's team earned run average is 2.57, while its opponents have a 4.02 ERA ... The game was Wayne County's second straight that finished in almost exactly two hours ... Weather permitting, Post 11 has games the next six days, including a three-day tournament at Scarborough Field this weekend.