Senior Legion -- Wayne County escapes Pitt Co. 160
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 24, 2005 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Garrett Davis' strong right arm is obviously his most important asset on the baseball field.
But, the rising Charles B. Aycock junior's speed on the base paths paid big dividends for Wayne County's Senior American Legion team on Thursday night against Pitt County Post 160 at Scarborough Field.
Designated hitter David Smeltzer, who finished 2-for-4 and contributed an RBI single in the seventh, reached third base with the game tied at 4-4. Then, Davis entered the game as a pinch-runner and raced home on a wild pitch -- just beating the throw from catcher Matt Scoggin to relief pitcher Jason Wood covering home for what proved to be the game-winning run.
Post 11's Austin Hood slides safely into second as the ball sails over the Pitt County shortstop's head.
Post 11 (14-2 overall) tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on their way to a 6-4 win over Post 160.
"We had talked about that before we got in that situation. Garrett runs pretty good, so if we got in scoring position Garrett is going to run there," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "We've got 18 good athletes though. So, it's all of them."
The win, Wayne County's seventh in a row overall and 10th straight against division foes, improves Post 11 to 10-1 in Area I East Division play. Pitt County 160, a second-year program, dropped to 3-9 overall and in the division.
Post 11 trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, but key, run-scoring hits by Smeltzer and Jackson Massey -- mixed with two Post 160 walks and the wild pitch that scored Davis -- helped Wayne County erase the deficit. The win was Post 11's fifth of the season when they were either behind or tied after 7 1/2 innings.
Wayne County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Joey Moye smacked a two-out single up the middle against Pitt County starter Alex McCarter -- Post 11's only hit into the outfield grass against the left-hander in the first four innings. Wayne County posted another run in the fourth as McCarter walked three straight to load the bases, before Matthew Holloman provided an infield single to score Jes Snyder.
McCarter and Wood combined to walk eight batters on the game with five of those base runners eventually scoring.
"Walks ended up catching up to us. Alex threw great for us tonight, but he got up around 100 pitches," Post 160 coach Rodney Harris said. "The whole thing comes down to pitching. We are in a situation where we play 13 days in a row. It depends on who is throwing which day, and tonight we got a good performance in a game we should have won."
Post 160, who out-hit Wayne County 11-6, struck for all four of their runs in the top of the third against Wayne County starter Brandon Price. Bryant Cooke and Ed Greene had RBI singles in the inning, while Chris Camp, Stephen Causey and Alex McCarter also contributed base hits. Bill Hopkins added an RBI on a ground out as eight batters came to the plate during a rally that gave Post 160 a 4-1 lead.
Price bounced back to keep Post 11 off of the scoreboard during his final two innings of work, yielding only one more hit.
"Brandon threw JV baseball all year and he's been limited with us so far. He gave up that four spot, but he comes right back and puts a zero up on about seven or eight pitches. He's going to get better from that," Reaves said.
Wayne County left-hander Adam Williams came on in relief to toss a scoreless, sixth and seventh -- earning his first win of the season. Williams gave up two hits and one walk in the seventh, but pitched out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs, getting McCarter to pop out for the final out of the seventh.
Spring Creek product Michael Sigmon yielded lead-off singles in the eighth and ninth to Greene and Camp, respectively, but the submarine-throwing righty allowed no runs to close out a string of six scoreless innings to finish the game.
Wayne County will take a break over the weekend from division play as it travels to Hamlet to play in the three-team, George Whitfield Classic. Post 11 takes on Richmond County on Saturday at 7 p.m., then faces Duplin County at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Wayne County resumes Area I East play on Monday against fellow division contender Pitt County Post 39.
"I didn't think we would have one loss in the division at this point, but there is still a lot of baseball left to play," Reaves said. "We've played a pretty competitive non-conference schedule. Some of these teams are only playing a conference schedule, but I would rather play than practice."
Wayne County's Statistical Leaders (15 game totals) -- BATTING -- Jes Snyder, .447; Austin Hood, .385; Jackson Massey, .340; Jesse Lancaster, .318. RBI -- Snyder, 18; Hood, 15. RUNS -- Massey, 23; Lancaster, 15; Snyder, 13; Hood, 12; Airlon Vinson, 11. PITCHING -- Grant Sasser, 1-0, 0.96; Garrett Davis 1-0, 1.10; Michael Sigmon 0-0, 0.96; Vinson 1-0, 0.00; Matthew Holloman 0-0, 2.79. STRIKEOUT/WALK -- Sasser 22/4; Davis 24/3; Lancaster 13/7; Sigmon 8/0; Price 8/3.
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