05/21/06 — Wayne Country Day rally comes up one hit short

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Wayne Country Day rally comes up one hit short

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 21, 2006 2:16 AM

WILSON -- A seventh-inning rally by Wayne Country Day fell one hit short as the Chargers lost 6-4 to three-time defending champion Waccamaw Academy of Whiteville on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A state playoffs.

The Chargers scored a run in the seventh on an error and two singles, but left runners on second and third as the Warriors recorded the final out and escaped with the win.

The Waccamaw victory earned the Warriors a rematch in the championship two-out-of three series against Lawrence Academy, last year's state runner-up.

Wayne Country Day finished the season at 13-10.

"I am extremely proud of these guys, going from seven wins last year to 13 wins this year -- that is a big improvement," Chargers coach Michael Taylor said. "With no seniors on this team, I expect to be back here next year."

The Chargers loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, but a bizarre double play kept Wayne Country Day off the scoreboard. Cameron Ford and Sam Steed drew walks to start the inning, and Ryan Ford loaded the bases for Wayne Country Day by reaching on an error. After one out, Kevin Herring hit a grounder between short and third and the Warrior shortstop threw to second for out No. 2.

The Chargers baserunner inadvertently slid past second base and collided with the Waccamaw second baseman which prevented any chance at a double play.

The umpire ruled interference and called Herring out, as well.

"I thought this would be a scrappy game and whoever got the breaks would win, we got a big one in the first inning on the interference play," Waccamaw coach Robbie Allen said.

The Warriors scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first on two hits and a couple of Charger errors.

Wayne Country Day cut the lead to one with a run in the top of the third as Chargers starting pitcher Travis Davis helped his own cause by lashing an RBI double to score Steed, who had reached base on an error.

The Warriors bunched two hits and a walk together in their half of the third to tally three more runs and take a 5-1 lead going into the fourth.

Overall, Waccamaw committed more errors (5) than the Chargers (3), but a couple of misjudged fly balls by Wayne Country Day at key times were costly.

"We did not take advantage of their mistakes like we needed to," said Taylor. "They really took advantage of ours."

The Chargers refused to wilt and pushed across two more runs in the fifth to cut the Waccamaw lead to 5-3.

An error and an RBI single by Steed highlighted the Charger rally. Steed later scored the second run on a fielder's choice.

Davis pitched effectively for four innings, but ran into trouble in the Warrior fifth. After giving up three hits and a run, Taylor brought in Ryan Ford with two outs. Ford shut down the Warriors the remainder of the game.

Behind 6-3 in their last at-bat, the Chargers mounted a rally. Waccamaw pitcher Kyle Huffman retired the first batter on a ground out. Steed reached first base on an error by the Waccamaw second baseman.

Ryan Ford stroked a single to center, giving WCD runners on first and second with one out. Davis drilled a sharp single to left to score Steed and the Chargers had runners at the corners trailing by two.

A fielder's choice moved Davis to second, but Huffman struck out the final Wayne Country Day hitter to end the game.

WCDS 001 020 1 -- 4 4 3

Waccamaw 203 010 x -- 6 9 5

Leading hitters -- Wayne Country Day -- Sam Steed 1-3, 3 runs; Ryan Ford 1-4, RBI; Travis Davis 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Cameron Ford 0-3, run. Waccamaw -- Sterling Graham 2-3, 3B, run, 4 RBI; Kyle Huffman 2-2, run, RBI; Justin Rhodes 1-3, run; Jonathan Dew 1-3, run.


Wayne Country Day (13-10)

T. Davis (L) 42/3 9 6 3 1 3

R. Ford 11/3 0 0 0 0 0

Waccamaw (14-12)

B. Rouse (W) 3 1 1 0 1 3

K. Huffman 4 3 3 2 2 2