Saints' Combs hurls perfect gem at Kinston
Published in Sports on April 2, 2006 10:17 AM
KINSTON -- There's great pitching, and then there's the type of pitching the Southern Wayne baseball team received this week.
On Monday, Ashton Langston came within two outs of a perfect game before settling for a one-hitter in Southern Wayne's win over Eastern Wayne.
The next day, T. J. Hinson tossed a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over Wilson Beddingfield.
And then Friday, David Combs completed the amazing trifecta with a five-inning perfect game as the Saints (6-5) whitewashed Kinston 12-0 in a Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference contest at Viking Field.
For those keeping score at home, that's one hit in the last 19 innings. Combs' perfect game is the first in Saints' coach Trae McKee's five-year tenure.
"I don't think I've ever seen a stretch of great pitching like we had this week," said Saints coach Trae McKee, whose team is 3-0 in ECC play. "But we've got confidence in all of our pitchers, and they're all capable of good outings if they throw strikes and keep the ball down."
Combs did just that and more against Kinston, fanning nine of the 15 batters he faced. He threw just 57 pitches, including 41 for strikes. Although the Vikings hit a couple of balls hard, Combs was never in danger of losing the perfect outing.
"Obviously, they've got a heck of a pitching staff," Kinston coach Eddie Loesner said. "If that kid (Combs) is their number three pitcher, then I'd hate to see the first two."
Combs didn't need any help, but he got it anyway in the form of 14 hits from the Saints offense. Austin Hood blasted a two-run, first-inning homer and Garrett Barfield added a two-run triple as Southern Wayne exploded to a 10-0 lead after three innings.
Kinston doomed its own cause with a season-high five errors, all in the first three frames.
"Early mistakes have really hurt us the past few games," Loesner said. "We've got to stop digging holes for ourselves."
Hood and Barfield each drove in three runs apiece, while Chris Massey knocked in a pair. Only six of the Saints' runs were earned.
The Vikings (0-8, 0-3) will try for their first won today when they host Greene Central in a non-conference contest at 2 p. m.
Southern Wayne hosts Wilson Hunt on Tuesday.
"David took the ball and said it's my turn. They've got a little competitiveness between them," McKee said. "All three of them have stepped up this week, and I felt like David went out there and was eager to have a good outing and throw the baseball well."
Southern Wayne 253 02 -- 12 14 0
Kinston 000 00 -- 0 0 5
Leading hitters -- Southern Wayne -- Garrett Barfield 3-4, 3 RBI; Chris Massey 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Austin Hood 2-4, HR, 3 RBI; David Combs 2-3; Brady Wiggins 2-3, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Southern Wayne (6-5, 3-0)
D. Combs (W, 2-1) 5 0 0 0 0 9
Kinston (0-8, 0-3)
A. Whitfield (L) 3 6 7 4 2 2
Gutlenberger 2 8 5 3 0 3
By KEITH SPENCE
Courtesy of Kinston Free Press
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