06/21/06 — Nash County edges Post 11 in Area I East play

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Nash County edges Post 11 in Area I East play

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 21, 2006 2:10 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Keeping a lead and making adjustments at the plate.

Those are the next two tasks Wayne County Post 11's youth-laden baseball team must address once it returns to Area I East Division play later this week.

Wayne County claimed a 4-0 lead after one inning, but couldn't sustain any offensive momentum. Nash County hurlers Jim Leggett and Zach Woodley combined to surrender two runs over the next eight innings as Post 58 rallied for a 7-6 victory on the Scarborough Field diamond.

Nash County, which played its eighth contest in six days, exited 7-8 overall and 6-7 against Area I East Division opposition.

Post 11, meanwhile, suffered its sixth home loss of the season and fell into an eighth-place tie with Snow Hill at 4-8 in the division. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

"We put it in cruise control after the first inning and we've done that all year," said Wayne County coach Brad Reaves. "People have handed it to us because of it and maybe we'll learn from this one.

"We should have had this one and been home in seven (innings)."

The first four Post 11 batters reached base against Leggett, who had been on a mission trip in Costa Rica for 10 days. Jackson Massey connected on a double into left field and Walker Gourley followed with an RBI single to the same spot.

Thomas Pilkington walked and catcher Bennett Jeffreys cleared the bases with a two-RBI triple to right center field. Jeffreys trotted home on David Combs' RBI groundout to conclude the first-inning scoring.

"I asked Jim when he came back yesterday if he could pitch tonight and he said 'yes'," said first-year Post 58 skipper Lance Peck. "He was a little rusty, but settled down in the second inning and gave us a solid six (innings).

"Woodley came in and shut it down."

Wayne County (6-9), which left nine runners on base, scratched for single runs in the third and sixth innings. Leggett retired seven consecutive batters and benefited from an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Woodley tossed three innings of two-hit, shutout relief.

"We lost this game in the second inning after we put up a four-spot," said Reaves. "We hit a couple of balls on the nose with people on base that they made plays on, and that's part of the game. We just didn't capitalize.

"I think you have to play every inning with a sense of urgency. I thought we carried (momentum) over yesterday into the first inning and that was it. We didn't have any sense of urgency the rest of the game."

Post 11 right-hander Brandon Price held Post 58 scoreless the first three innings and lost his shutout bid in the fourth. Nash County cranked out four consecutive hits in the fifth inning and pulled within 5-4.

T.J. Hinson relieved Price during that stretch and retired the side in the sixth before yielding an unearned run in the seventh.

"We were getting much more selective after they saw him (Price) the second time," said Peck, whose team collected 13 hits, including 10 in the final five innings combined. "Price had a nice change-up and was really keeping us off balance, but once we figured that out, we waited for one to be there or not swing at all.

"A good hitter makes those adjustments."

Brian Allen, who batted 3-for-5 and missed hitting for the cycle, started the Nash County ninth with a double that rolled to the left field fence. Allen advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored the game-tying run as Xavier Macklin's drilled an inside pitch over the out-stretched glove of shortstop Austin Hood.

Macklin, a 15-year-old, had struck out twice and singled in three previous at-bats.

"That's the pitch he likes to hit," said Peck of Macklin. "When he gets it at the right place, he can do just that with it or put it out of the park. He's still making adjustments on what he has to do at this level."

Macklin scampered home on Jason Gay's double to right field. Gay emerged one of four multiple-hit performers for Nash County and ended the night 4-for-4 with two doubles.

Wayne County, which leads the all-time series 55-43, put runners aboard in the final three innings against Woodley. Two runners were left stranded, while a third fell victim to a double play on a pop-up bunt to first base in the ninth.

Post 11 recorded double digits in hits for the third time in its last four games and fifth time overall this season. Gourley turned in a 3-for-5 effort. Hood, Massey and Jeffreys each produced two hits.

"Maybe we'll learn from this," said Reaves. "When you get somebody down, you have to kick them. We just can't put up a (defensive) stop.

"There are no excuses. They wanted this game more than we did and believed they could win; didn't quit. We did (quit) ... just rolled right over."

Nash 000 130 102 -- 7 13 3

Wayne 401 001 000 -- 6 11 1

Leading hitters -- Nash County -- Brian Allen 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI; Will Johnson 2-4, 2 RBI; Xavier Macklin 2-4, RBI; Jason Gay 4-4, 2 2Bs, 2 RBI; Adam Hodges 1-4, RBI. Wayne County -- Walker Gourley 3-5, 2 RBI; Jackson Massey 2-5, 2B, RBI; Bennett Jeffreys 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI; Austin Hood 2-5, 2B.

DP -- Nash County 2, Wayne County 1. LOB -- Nash County 11, Wayne County 9. SH -- Webb, Macklin. SB -- Gourley, Wiggins, Edgerton.


Nash County

Leggett 6 9 6 5 3 2

Woodley (W) 3 2 0 0 1 1

Wayne County

Price 41/3 5 4 4 2 5

Hinson (L, 0-2) 4 7 3 2 0 3

Combs 2/3 1 0 0 0 0

WP -- Price (2), Leggett. HBP -- Wooten (by Leggett), Edgerton (by Leggett), Moore (by Price), Webb (by Price).

T -- 2:29.