Area I East - Wayne County nips Edenton 5-4
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on June 25, 2006 2:20 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Trailing 4-3 against Edenton, Wayne County rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 5-4 win over Post 40 at Scarborough Field on Saturday night in Area I East play.
The victory avenged a loss earlier in the season at Edenton, in which Post 40 scored two in the ninth to win 11-10.
Wayne County (7-9 overall) improved to 5-8 in division play heading into today's doubleheader at Ahoskie, beginning at 4 p.m. Second-place Edenton slipped to 9-4 overall and against division foes.
Going into the ninth, Post 11 was just 3-for-13 with runners on base and had stranded eight -- including four in scoring position.
The home team actually wouldn't need a hit to come back as Austin Hood started the ninth with a hit by pitch by reliever Joseph Westbrook. Then Jackson Massey was hit by Broc Sutton. With a 3-1 count on the next batter, Walker Gourley, Hood raced for third as Gourley took ball four. The Edenton catcher still threw to third, but the ball sailed into the outfield -- allowing Hood to easily score and Massey to advance to third.
With the score tied at 3-3, Thomas Pilkington was walked intentionally -- loading the bases for Bennett Jeffreys. Jeffreys reached safely on an error by the third baseman as Massey raced home with the game-winning run.
The win was Wayne County's second home victory of the season with both coming in its last at-bat and with Jeffreys at the plate.
"The kids battled back," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "We're going to take these final seven games one day at a time and see what these kids can do. Hopefully we can go on a little run."
Post 11 struck for one run in each of the first two innings as Jeffreys scored Gourley with a sacrifice fly in the first, while Will Edgerton brought home Joey Moye with a double in the second. Over the next four innings, starter Steven Brown yielded two hits and six total baserunners. Wayne County hit a handful of balls on the nose but failed to capitalize with a clutch hit as Edenton remained on top 4-2 in the middle innings.
Post 11 scratched for its third run in the seventh when Gourley, who posted a season-high four hits, brought home Massey with a single to left against Westbrook. Wayne County had at least one baserunner in every inning against the trio of Edenton pitchers.
Wayne County's David Combs went eight solid innings in his sixth appearance of the season. The right-hander yielded just six hits and four runs (three earned) during his stint as his defense turned in four double plays behind him to help keep Post 40 at bay. Combs gave up three earned runs in the fourth, two coming on bloop single by Luke Williford, then settled down to give up just three more hits and no earned runs in his final six innings.
Edenton's final run came in the fifth when Williford, who reached on an error, came around to score on a sacrifice fly.
"I thought David threw his guts out," Reaves said. "He spared our bullpen tonight. You can't say enough about him, then Ashton (Langston) came in and did his job."
Langston (4-2) tossed a scoreless top of the ninth to pick up the win in relief. Langston pitched around a leadoff single and a walk, and got a 5-3 double play from Pilkington to first baseman Chris Massey to keep the score at 4-3 before Post 11's rally. Of Wayne County's five twin-killings, Pilkington was involved in four of them at third.
"We've had games where we hit balls right at people and didn't get any luck, and tonight they hit them at us," Reaves said.
Edenton 030 010 000 -- 4 7 3
Wayne County 110 000 102 -- 5 8 2
Leading hitters -- Edenton -- Luke Williford 2-4, 2 RBIs, run; Broc Sutton 2-4; Landon Jordan 1-4, 2B, RBI, run. Wayne County -- Jackson Massey 1-4, 2 runs; Walker Gourley 4-4, RBI, run; Will Edgerton 1-4, 2B, RBI; Thomas Pilkington 1-4; John Wooten 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
S. Brown 6 6 2 2 2 5
J. Westbrook 2 2 2 0 1 0
B. Sutton (L) 0 0 1 0 2 0
D. Combs 8 6 4 3 3 4
A. Langston (W, 4-2) 1 1 0 0 1 0
Westbrook faced one batter in the ninth
Sutton faced four batters in the ninth
0 outs when game-winning run scored
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