03/01/07 — Southern Wayne wins slugfest

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Southern Wayne wins slugfest

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on March 1, 2007 2:27 PM

DUDLEY -- East Duplin catcher Josh Kennedy watched helplessly as Garrett Barfield crossed home plate with another Southern Wayne run. Kennedy threw his mask off, looked to the sky and shook his head in disgust.

Barfield had scored the Saints' sixth run of the fourth inning to break a 4-4 tie en route to defeating the Panthers 11-7 on Wednesday night.

"We've just been talking to our team about being aggressive at the plate -- getting good pitches early and staying out of 0-2 counts," said Southern Wayne coach Trae McKee. "We did a good job that inning of being aggressive at the plate."

Southern Wayne's bats heated up on the chilly night as eight of the nine starters collected at least one base hit.

"I feel like one through nine we can handle the bat OK," said McKee. "We've been preaching about their approach at the plate -- keeping them aggressive at the plate."

The aggressivness of the Saints paid off early as they got to East Duplin starter Shane Kennedy in the second inning.

A dropped fly ball by Daniel King put leadoff hitter Chris Massey at second base. Brady Wiggins followed with an RBI single to score Massey with the game's first run.

Wiggins had a big game for the Saints, going 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base.

"(Wiggins) has been working very hard," said McKee. "He's seeing the ball well and he did a great job with some big hits to drive in runs."

More miscues later in the inning by the Panthers followed with Wiggins coming home on a wild pitch and two more runs scored when Aron Miller misplayed a ball hit by Jordan Williams making it 4-0 Southern Wayne.

East Duplin cut the Saint lead in half when they tagged Saint starter Michael Douglass for two runs on RBI singles by Miller and Reed Smith.

"We're young as a pitching staff and this is new to some of them -- being in the pressure situation of a varsity game," said McKee.

Douglass and Kennedy both settled down and kept both teams off the bases until the fourth inning.

Smith would tie the game at 4-4 for the Panthers with a two-run single. Smith finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

The 4-4 deadlock would be short lived as the Saints got their offense in a groove in the bottom of the inning.

After a leadoff single by Scott Holloman and a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Williams, Sterling Grice smacked an RBI double to score Holloman and ignite a huge offensive inning.

Massey, Wiggins, and Overman all added run scoring doubles in the frame to push six runs across the plate and give Southern Wayne a 10-4 advantage.

"That's how it works in baseball," said Wiggins. "When you've got something going well, it's hard to get it stopped."

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Dave Overman provided the final blow of the night when he crushed a 2-2 pitch from Miller over the right-field wall and into the net for his first home run of the season. Overman finished the night 2-for-3 with a double, homer and two RBIs.

Tyler Edwards finished off the first Southern Wayne (1-1) win of the year by getting Brandon Thigpen to ground out to end the game.

Douglass (1-0) picked up the win by going five innings and giving up five runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out four. Kennedy (0-1) suffered the loss by allowing nine runs -- seven earned -- in 31/3 innings, walked two and struck out two.

Southern Wayne next plays host to Wilmington-Ashley on March 6 at 5 p.m.

E. Duplin 020 212 0 -- 7 10 3

So. Wayne 400 601 0 -- 11 10 2

Leading Hitters -- East Duplin -- Smith 2-3, 3 RBI; Miller 2-3, RBI; Sandlin 1-4, 2 RBI. Southern Wayne -- Wiggins 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Overman 2-3, HR, 2B, 2 RBI; Grice 1-3, 2B, RBI; Massey 1-4, 2B, RBI.

LOB -- East Duplin 7, Southern Wayne 3. SB -- Miller (2), S.Kennedy, Wiggins, Barfield.


East Duplin

Kennedy (0-1) 31/3 6 9 7 2 2

Miller 32/3 4 2 2 1 4

Southern Wayne

Douglass (1-0) 5 8 5 5 2 4

Howell 2/3 1 2 2 2 1

Edwards 11/3 1 0 0 0 1