Wayne shuts out Johnston County
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 12, 2006 2:16 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Strong pitching efforts and first-inning offensive uprisings propelled Wayne County and Greene County to opening-round victories in the Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth District 4 13-year-old baseball tournament Tuesday evening.
Wayne County right-hander Jonathan Jenkins yielded two hits and collected seven strikeouts in a complete-game, 5-0 conquest of Johnston County on the Spring Creek High diamond.
Greene Central's tandem of Deric Grant and Wes Sowers combined for a four-hitter in a 7-3 triumph over Wilson County. Grant, a lanky right-hander, held Wilson scoreless before surrendering a fourth-inning, run-scoring double.
Two more Wayne County teams begin their district title bids today. The 14-year-olds oppose Johnston County in game one of their best-of-three series at 8:30 p.m. The 13-15-year-olds take on Wilson County at 6 p.m.
Jenkins tossed numerous fastballs and mixed in an occasional off-speed pitch to keep Johnston County's batters baffled in the box. Jenkins retired 10 consecutive batters through three-plus innings and allowed three base runners in the 1-hour, 43-minute contest.
"An excellent job by Jonathan," said Wayne County coach Wiley Keel. "His fastball was really working tonight, so we didn't have to change up too much. He threw a curveball or change-up here and there.
"He was dead-on."
Jenkins induced nine groundouts, a couple of infield pop-ups and allowed just three balls to leave the infield. Josh Frederick snagged a pair of fly balls in center field and first baseman Nick Gurley recorded a game-high 10 putouts.
Johnston County's Matthew Corbett laced a two-out backside single to right field in the seventh. Teammate Brandon Crocker, who endured the mound loss, reached base twice against Jenkins. However, the right-hander was stranded at third in the first and fourth innings.
"We made some good defensive plays," said Keel.
Wayne County tagged Crocker for three first-inning runs. Gurley delivered a two-RBI single and Christian Pate, who walked, scampered home on a wild pitch.
"I think the boys were really pumped when they first came out there and we got some hits," said Keel. "I think anytime you can jump on a team and get two or three runs, it gives you confidence and get the other team down a little bit.
"It does nothing but help you."
Wayne County left the bases loaded in the second inning, but added two more runs in the third. Turner Smith, who walked, crossed home on an infield throwing error.
Frederick, who paced Wayne County's eight-hit attack with three singles, drove home Matthew Lambert with a two-strike shot to left field.
Crocker and center fielder Matthew Corbett switched positions at that point. Corbett hand-cuffed Wayne County over the final four-plus innings and provided two-hit, five-strikeout relief.
"From what I understand, Corbett is really their ace," said Keel. "We had a hard time after he came in. I think it was a combination of his pitching and us getting a little complacent (offensively).
"I think we'll be ready the next game."
Keel said that Frederick (0-0) will get the start Thursday against Greene County. Game time is 8:30 p.m.
In the opening game, Greene County nearly batted around in the first inning against Wilson and seized a 4-0 lead. Grant gave up two hits during his four-inning appearance and Sowers allowed two hits in earning the save.
Colby Chase led Greene County with two hits in three at-bats. C.J. Faulkner doubled, while Ben Carraway and Chase Harris each contributed one hit.
Wilson's Brandon Watson (1-for-3) cranked out an RBI double in the fourth to spoil Grant's shutout bid.
Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth
District 4 Playoffs
(at Spring Creek HS)
Johnston County 000 000 0 -- 0 2 3
Wayne County 302 000 x -- 5 8 3
Leading hitters -- Johnston County -- Brandon Crocker 1-3; Matt Corbett 1-3. Wayne County -- Josh Frederick 3-4; Jackson Keel 1-3; Nick Gurley 2-4, 2 RBI; Logan Wicks 1-4; Matthew Lambert 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
Crocker (L, 0-1) 22/3 6 5 5 5 1
M. Corbett 31/3 2 0 0 2 5
Jenkins (W, 1-0) 7 2 0 0 0 7
WP -- Crocker 2.
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