06/22/05 — Post 11 wins sixth straight

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Post 11 wins sixth straight

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 22, 2005 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County's current offensive trend, though it's just two games, concerns third-year coach Brad Reaves.

Since posting 55 total runs in three consecutive games combined late last week, Post 11's offense has been somewhat anemic in its last two outings.

Wayne County managed five hits and survived a scare Monday evening at Edenton.

On Tuesday night against Area I East Division rival Kinston Post 43, Post 11 collected just six hits and came away with a 5-1 victory. But three crucial errors by the visitors aided Wayne County's cause and led to a four-run advantage.

"We're just like a roller coaster," said Reaves. "One night we absolutely tear up the ball and the next night we don't sniff it. We just don't have very good approaches; swing at every pitch thrown up there and we're getting ourselves out.

"That's the problem right now."

Wayne County's team batting average dipped from .327 to .310 since a 19-2 thrashing of Ahoskie on Sunday. Post 11 collected six hits in the third and eighth innings combined, but struggled the remaining innings.

Kinston left-hander Paul Novicki retired 14 consecutive batters after yielding a run-scoring single to Austin Hood in the third. Jackson Massey ended Novicki's streak with a one-out single in the eighth.

"We swung at the pitcher's pitches ... were not patient enough," Reaves said. "We don't trust ourselves in two-strike situations and letting the counts get a little deeper.

"We're immature hitters."

Post 11 scratched in the first inning, aided by a wild throw to center field on a steal attempt.

Wayne County (13-2, 9-1 Area I East) added three runs in the third on Jes Snyder's fielder's choice RBI and Hood's RBI single. Kinston's center fielder misplayed Hood's base knock into the gap which turned into a three-base, run-scoring error.

Novicki yielded three hits and a run in the eighth.

"He threw two really good pitches to two hitters and they got out on their front foot on change-ups, and got it through the hole," Kinston coach Ryan Whitney said. "They did a good job of hitting and running; got some stolen bases and got those (big) hits they needed."

Meanwhile, Kinston (6-9) squandered run-scoring opportunities in the early innings against Post 11 left-hander Grant Sasser and never recovered en route to its fifth division loss in 10 tries. Post 43 stranded five of six runners in scoring position and went hitless in six at-bats during the first four innings combined.

Kinston left the bases loaded in the third.

"Anybody else might not have gotten out of that situation," Reaves said of Sasser. "He showed his composure and what kind of maturity he's got. We're fortunate to have him be the one in that situation.

"I thought he did OK. I'd like to see him throw his fastball more. I told him to throw it up there and let them hit it."

Post 43 out-hit Wayne County 8-6 and put runners on base in six of nine innings. Ashley Mills and Eric Jordan each provided two hits. Josh Kennedy collected Post 43's lone RBI on a sixth-inning single.

David Currington, who tripled in the sixth and scored on Kennedy's hit, finished the night 1-for-4. Josh Tindal and Paul Novicki contributed one hit each.

"It's kind of what's been going on with us lately," said Post 43 coach Ryan Whitney. "We've kind of been missing that big hit. We had some guys hit the ball hard tonight, but never had the (big hit) we needed at the right time to get us going.

"Every time we got into position to have a big inning, we just couldn't do it. It's just tough luck."

Notes: Wayne County is 7-1 at home this season, including a 7-0 mark in division play. ... Post 11 leads the all-time series against Kinston 47-20. ... 1B Airlon Vinson led Wayne County's defense with 12 putouts and one assist. ... Post 11 finished 4-for-4 on stolen bases, giving it 33 for the season.