07/21/06 — Wayne County 14s fall to Nash County

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Wayne County 14s fall to Nash County

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 21, 2006 2:13 PM

GREENVILLE -- Nash County collected two crucial runs in the top half of the sixth inning and turned back Wayne County 4-2 during opening-round play of the Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth 14U State tournament Thursday afternoon.

Wayne County faced Wilmington in an elimination game at 11 this morning on the Guy Smith Stadium diamond. Coach Greg Neal's team suffered its first postseason loss after sweeping Johnston County 2-0 to win the District 4 best-of-three series just six days ago.

"Nash County was a good defensive team; fundamentally sound and did the things you have to do to win ball games," said coach Neal.

Trailing 1-0, Wayne County worked for the 1-1 tie in its half of the first inning. Travis Thomas, one of seven players to record a single, led off with a base hit and stole second base. Matt Neal moved Thomas to third with a sacrifice bunt and Will Beasley plated Thomas with an RBI groundout.

Nash County regained the lead 2-1 in the second.

Again, Wayne County answered. Michael Fields delivered a lead-off single and after back-to-back groundouts, scored on Robert Faucett's base knock for the 2-2 tie.

The teams traded zeroes over the next few innings until Nash County pushed two runs across in the sixth. Wayne County had a runner thrown at the plate in the fourth, and stranded Trevor Cox at second base in the seventh.

Neal, a right-hander, scattered six hits and struck out five in his second complete-game effort of the postseason.

"That was an outstanding job by Matt," said coach Neal. "I think we have a team that can compete in the states, but it's going to be tough coming back through the losers' bracket."

Nash 020 002 0 -- 4 6 0

Wayne 110 000 0 -- 2 7 5

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Travis Thomas 1-2; Matt Neal 1-2; Will Beasley 1-2; Michael Fields 1-3; Zach Beachem 1-3, 2B; Robert Faucett 1-2; Trevor Cox 1-3.

LP -- Matt Neal.