South Central Pitt exacts revenge on Wayne County
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 9, 2006 2:02 AM
DUDLEY -- Call it the "revenge tour."
Swept during regular-season play by Wayne County and Lenoir County, the South Central Pitt Post 160 baseball team has successfully avenged those losses in Area I Junior Legion tournament competition.
Post 160 upset second-seeded Lenoir County on Friday and followed up with a 6-2 conquest of top-seeded Wayne County on Saturday evening. With the back-to-back victories, South Central Pitt (13-7) advances to second-round action which begins Tuesday.
Wayne County (14-4) entertains Lenoir County in elimination-round play today. Game time is 7 p.m. on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex diamond.
"I'll see what my guys are made up of (character-wise)," said first-year Post 11 coach Nelson Cunningham. "I think they'll step up after learning from this one tonight. Lenoir is a very good team and it's tough to beat a good team three times.
"We'll have to come out and see if we can execute a little better, and do the simple things."
The simple things cost Post 11 on an unseasonably cool night.
South Central Pitt profited from two well-timed double steals and pressured the Wayne County defense into three errors with the "small" game. Post 11 also failed to rotate and cover the bases, which allowed three runners to leg out infield singles on bunt attempts.
"We knew they were going to play small ball," said Cunningham. "We didn't defend the bunt and didn't defend on first and third (with the double steal). They put pressure on us.
"They stayed in front of the mound all night long; didn't hit the ball well. We knew what was coming, but didn't execute ... bottom line."
SCP collected four earned runs off eight hits against Post 11 starter Cody Richards. A right-hander, Richards worked five-plus innings and fanned three. Michael Douglas provided one inning of one-hit shutout relief.
Post 160 right-hander Bobby Raspberry limited Post 11 to three hits and retired eight of 10 batters during a three-inning stretch. Raspberry kept Wayne County's batters baffled with a steady diet of off-speed pitches and shut down an offense that had produced 31 runs in its last two outings combined.
Wayne County finished hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position. SCP catcher Josh Worthington gunned down two runners, who attempted to steal third on wild pitches. The throws squelched Post 11 rallies in the sixth and seventh innings.
"There is never a good time for an (offensive) drought," said Cunningham. "We didn't make the adjustments (at the plate). He had kind of a funky wind-up and we didn't pick the ball up early. We didn't stand back and hit the ball backside."
An outfield error allowed South Central Pitt to claim a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Post 11 answered on Nolan Lancaster's RBI groundout in the fourth for the 1-1 tie.
Post 160 continued with the short-game mentality in the fifth and pushed two runs across before Post 11 recorded an out defensively. Zach Starcher and Tony Pugulis, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, respectively, each scored when Wayne County's defense misplayed Jason Getz's bunt.
The errant throw sailed into right field to make the score 4-1. SCP boosted its lead to 6-1 in the sixth on Pugulis' two-RBI double and Getz's steal of home plate.
Wayne County pulled within 6-2 on Lancaster's one-out RBI single in the sixth. Reliever Tanner Lovick fanned the first batter he faced and Worthington threw Ryan Ford out at third to end the inning.
Post 11 tried again in the seventh.
Tyler Edwards laced a lead-off, two-strike single up the middle and moved to second when Lovick walked Casey. Edwards attempted to take third on a wild pitch, but Worthington made a perfect throw to record the out.
Lovick induced a groundout and infield pop-up to end the game.
"We were trying to be too aggressive and taking third base on a dirt ball; shouldn't do that," said Cunningham, whose team left seven runners on base in the seven-inning affair. "Maybe we'll learn from it because we've still got another day (to play)."
S. Central Pitt 010 023 0 -- 6 9 2
Wayne County 000 101 0 -- 2 4 3
Leading hitters -- South Central Pitt -- Jason Getz 1-4; Seth Anderson 1-4, RBI; Gavin Mizelle 2-4; Josh Worthington 2-4; Tony Pugulis 3-3, 2B, 2 RBI. Wayne County -- Alex Casey 1-2; Ryan Ford 1-3; Nolan Lancaster 1-3, 2 RBI; Tyler Edwards 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
South Central Pitt
Raspberry (W) 5 2/3 8 6 4 1 3
Lovick (S) 1 1/3 1 0 0 0 0
Richards (L) 5 1/3 3 2 1 4 3
Douglas 1 2/3 1 0 0 1 1
WP -- Richards 2. HBP -- Harrington (by Richards), Powell (by Raspberry).
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