06/02/06 — Errors, shaky pitching doom Post 11

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Errors, shaky pitching doom Post 11

By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on June 2, 2006 2:22 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County has obviously struggled at the plate in the early going -- batting under .200 as a team in its first four games.

On Thursday at Scarborough Field against Kinston, Post 11 compounded its hitting woes with a shaky pitching and defensive performance as Post 43 cruised to a 14-2 win in Area I East play.

The win was Kinston's first over Wayne County during coach Ronnie Battle's eight-year tenure.

"It was a total effort from the team," Battle said. "We knew we had to hop on them quick and stay ahead of them."

Wayne County (3-2, 2-2) committed six errors overall, including three in the first four innings, leading to five unearned runs for Kinston against starting right-hander Ashton Langston (0-1). Meanwhile, the middle half of Post 43's order consistently made the defensive miscues hurt as third hitter, Brandon Rouse, and fifth hitter, Brad Jones -- both South Lenoir products -- combined for eight hits, eight RBIs and scored six runs.

Jones, who finished with a whopping, seven RBIs, singled home Rouse in the fourth, then later raced home on an infield error to make it 9-0. Jones capped Kinston's 15-hit night with a bases-loaded, three-run double in the ninth to push the score to its final margin.

"We got it handed it to us tonight. I think we were due for one of those ... we're not playing with a lot of energy," Post 11 coach Brad Reaves said. "I told them, 'now you find out what kind of character you've got and what kind of team you can be.'

"Our whole goal is to keep getting better. Very few of these kids have been through the legion schedule."

Kinston righty Billy Dudding kept Wayne County off-balance through his eight-inning stint. Mixing his fastball with a hard curve, Dudding yielded just two runs (none earned) on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk. He was just one off the minimum through six innings of shutout work and benefited from a pair of double-plays.

Down 10-0 in the seventh, Post 11 avoided losing by the mercy rule when Austin Hood brought home Thomas Pilkington with a sacrifice fly to center field. Wayne County tallied its second and final run in the eighth as an infield error on a grounder to second base by Walker Gourley scored Tyler Ham, who walked with one out, from second.

After Kinston (2-1, 1-1) increased its lead to 14-2 in the ninth against Post 11 reliever Taylor Sutton, Post 43's Braxton Lewis recorded the final three outs for his team.

Pilkington and Bennett Jeffreys had two hits for Wayne County, while Hood and David Combs added one hit each.

Caleb Wetherington, Hoyt Killette and Paul Novicki added two hits each for Kinston. Post 43's 14 runs were as many as Wayne County's first four opponents combined.

"You've got to give credit to the guys batting ahead of Brandon and Brad to give them the chances for those RBIs," Battle said. "I think people know Brandon is the big hitter in our lineup, but when we can get big hits from everyone else, it's gravy for us."

In his second appearance of the season, Langston tossed four innings -- giving up nine runs (four earned) on six hits with four strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters. Sutton pitched the final five innings and yielded five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

Four Wayne County players arrived late to the game after attending the athletic banquet at Eastern Wayne, while three players did not attend the game due to the funeral of Charles B. Aycock classmate, John Paul Setliff.

"I want those kids to go to their banquets, and I know the kids from Aycock were at the funeral," Reaves said. "But it throws a kink in things to split the group up like we did tonight. Especially when you're trying to build a team, and we've only been together for a week."

Post 11 returns to action today at home against Pitt County Post 160, before traveling to Pitt County Post 39 on Saturday.

Kinston 403 200 104 -- 14 15 2

Wayne 000 000 110 -- 2 6 6

Leading hitters -- Kinston -- Brad Jones 4-6, 2B, 7 RBIs, 2 runs; Brandon Rouse 4-6, 2B, RBI, 4 runs; Caleb Wetherington 2-3, 2 2Bs, RBI, 3 runs; Hoyt Killette 2-7; Paul Novicki 2-2. Wayne County -- Thomas Pilkington 2-5, run; Bennett Jeffreys 2-4; Austin Hood 1-3, RBI; David Combs 1-3.



B. Dudding (W) 8 5 2 0 1 6

B. Lewis 1 1 0 0 0 0

Wayne County

A. Langston (L, 0-1) 4 6 9 4 1 4

T. Sutton 5 9 5 5 3 4