04/12/06 — Saints easily beat EW

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Saints easily beat EW

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 12, 2006 2:04 PM

Getting over a loss, especially against a county rival, isn't an easy task.

It's even more difficult when you put together a game-tying rally in the seventh inning and lose on a walk-off home run.

Southern Wayne needed a couple of innings to shake off its disheartening defeat against state-ranked Charles B. Aycock just four days ago, and archrival Eastern Wayne happened to be the victim Tuesday evening.

T.J. Hinson scattered five hits in a complete-game effort and Austin Hood provided two extra-base hits in the Saints' 6-1 triumph over the Warriors on the New Hope diamond. Southern Wayne (8-6) climbed to 5-1 against Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opposition and trails Aycock by one game.

The Warriors (6-8) fell to 3-3 in ECC play and damaged their chances of securing one of the conference's two automatic playoff berths. Their hopes now rest on either getting help from other teams to climb back into the postseason chase or by winning the season-ending conference tournament.

"It was lopsided in my opinion," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum. "They did what it took to win and we didn't ... bottom line. The kids played flat, with no emotion and we didn't want to be there, I don't think.

"If we want to get better, we have to play tough teams tough."

Each team played emotionless through the first two innings.

The Saints, who swept the regular-season series, put one runner on board and left him stranded at second base. The Warriors grounded out into an inning-killing double play in the first and had a runner gunned down attempting to steal second base in the second.

"I think we were still a little down from Friday night and we started off sort of slow tonight," admitted Hood. "Coach (Brad) Reaves and Coach (Trae) McKee got us pepped up a little bit in the middle innings, and everybody answered the challenge."

Tied at 0-0 with a runner on second and two outs, the Saints' Chris Massey laced a run-scoring double into the right center field gap. Massey advanced to third on a passed ball and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

"I was looking for something to drive the other way because I had two strikes and wanted to get the run in," said Massey, who grounded out during his first at-bat. "I was just trying to do my job as a hitter with two outs ... keeping it alive."

Southern Wayne added two more runs in the fourth.

Garrett Barfield slapped a lead-off double into right center field and moved to third on a passed ball. Warrior right-hander Tyler Ham nicked Massey with an inside pitch and both runners scored on Hood's bases-clearing double.

"That's the first time I've ever faced Tyler pitching," said Hood, who connected on a curveball. "We just made some adjustments. I was seeing the ball a little better, picked up the spin on it and waited on it a little longer (in the box)."

Ham yielded an unearned run in the sixth and Hood belted a solo home run off reliever Taylor Sutton in the seventh.

"I wanted to run it into the gap and get something started, and it went over," said Hood of his second homer of the season. "I guess the wind blew it a little bit. They got that run (in the sixth) and we just wanted to get it back."

Eastern Wayne put a runner aboard in six of seven innings and collected two extra-base hits against the right-handed Hinson. But the Warriors stranded four runners, including two in scoring position.

Hinson (4-2) notched five strikeouts, yielded one walk and retired 10 of 12 batters he faced from the second through fifth innings. Mike Mintz spoiled Hinson's shutout bid by scoring on a wild pitch in the sixth.

"Maybe Hinson was throwing good pitches, but I thought we would bunch up some (hits) and make things happen, but we didn't," said Fulghum, whose team had two doubles -- one each from Ham and Mintz.

Hinson induced eight ground-ball outs and forced two pop-ups in foul territory behind the plate. Saints first baseman Ashton Langston recorded a team-high eight putouts, including four assists from Hood at shortstop. Senior catcher David Combs amassed six putouts.

"I thought T.J. did a great job and we played great defense behind him for the most part," said McKee. "He's got to rely on getting ahead in the count and when he does that, he's tough. He's not going to strike a whole of people out and he keeps them off balance.

"As long as T.J. does that, he can stay out of predictable counts."

Sutton, who started at first base for the Warriors, recorded a game-high nine putouts. Freshman catcher Walker Gourley contributed seven putouts.

So. Wayne 002 021 1 -- 6 7 1

E. Wayne 000 001 0 -- 1 4 1

Leading hitters -- Southern Wayne -- Garrett Barfield 1-3, 2B; Chris Massey 1-3, 2B, RBI; Austin Hood 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI; Willie Koernig 1-4; David Combs 1-4; T.J. Hinson 1-2, RBI. Eastern Wayne -- Tyler Ham 1-3, 2B; Walker Gourley 1-3; John Wooten 1-3; Michael Mintz 1-2, 2B.

DP -- So. Wayne 1. LOB -- So. Wayne 6, E. Wayne 4. HR -- Hood (2). SB -- Barfield, Wiggins. CS -- A. Massey, Gourley. SH -- Hinson.


Southern Wayne

Hinson (W, 4-2) 7 5 1 1 1 5

Eastern Wayne

Ham (L, 2-3) 6 5 5 4 3 5

T. Sutton 1 2 1 1 0 1

WP -- Ham, T. Sutton. BK -- Hinson. HBP -- Langston (by Ham), C. Massey (by Ham), T. Sutton (by Hinson).

T -- 1:53.