03/04/07 — Eastern Wayne walks past Greene Central

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Eastern Wayne walks past Greene Central

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on March 4, 2007 2:09 AM

The Eastern Wayne coaches preach patience at the plate to their hitters.

On Saturday afternoon, the selectivity of the batters allowed the Warriors to draw six walks -- four of which came during a key four-run fifth inning that lifted Eastern Wayne to a 7-4 win over Greene Central.

"We try to be patient at the plate and wait on our pitch to hit," said Eastern Wayne shortstop Walker Gourley. "We can't be too judgmental about when we're going to hit the ball. We don't guess, we react with what is given to us."

Gourley and his teammates were forced to be selective with pitches they swung at as Greene Central reliever Josh Elmore struggled with his control during the bottom of the fourth inning in a 2-2 game.

Following a leadoff single by Jackson Fredrick and a sacrifice by Jeff Hill, Elmore walked Corey Harr and Chad Gurley to load the bases and bring up Gourley.

After throwing two straight out of the strike zone to Gourley, Elmore fought back to even the count at 2-2. Gourley then got a pitch he could handle as he singled to drive in Fredrick and Harr with what would turn out to be the winning runs.

"I was looking for something to hit," said Gourley. "Before that I had a curve ball that I thought was inside, I laid off there and was looking for something I could drive with two strikes. I got a good pitch to hit and drove the runs in."

The Warriors would add two more runs in the inning courtesy of an Elmore wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk to Nolan Lancaster to lead 6-2.

"This is the first time he's pitched in three years, so I knew he'd be rusty," Greene Central coach Russell Brann said of Elmore. "Since this was a non-conference game though, we wanted to give him a chance to come in and get his feet wet."

Greene Central cut the lead in half during the top of the sixth when Chris Leggett lined a hit into right field to score Michael Speedy and Tyler Chase. Leggett finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

"(Chris) had been swinging the bat fairly well in batting practice so we decided to give him a chance to DH and he took advantage of it," aid Brann.

Eastern Wayne tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the inning thanks to two wild pitches from Speedy which allowed Jose Ponce to score.

John Wooten finished off the Rams by pitching 12/3 scoreless innings to record his first save on the year.

Both starters pitched well as Robert Tyndall and Sutton kept the game tied for the first four innings.

Tyndall gave up two runs in his four innings on three hits, walked two and struck out four.

"I thought we played fairly well," said Brann, whose team fell to 0-2 on the season. "Robert Tyndall really pitched good the first four innings. We got some very timely hits, but of course Eastern Wayne did too."

For the Warriors, Sutton pitched four innings while giving up two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out five.

"We did a better job all the way around," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum. "Taylor Sutton threw the ball real good for four innings. We got some timely hits out there. It's a long season -- we progressed today and that's what we look for each day we come out here."

Gourley finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Warriors (1-1) while Wooten and Lancaster both had a hit and RBI. Lancaster (1-0) also picked up the win by pitching 11/3 innings in relief while giving up two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out three.

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday when Greene Central hosts Spring Creek while Eastern Wayne gets a rematch of its season opener when they travel to South Central.

"I was glad to see us get into that win column today because the kids and coaches work extremely hard," said Fulghum. "It's a credit to everyone."

Greene Central 000 202 0 -- 4 9 2

Eastern Wayne 020 041 x -- 7 5 0

Leading Hitters -- Greene Central -- Leggett 2-3, 3 RBIs; Beaman 2-4, 2B; Speedy 2-4; Brann 1-2, RBI. Eastern Wayne -- Gourley 1-3, 2 RBIs; Lancaster 1-2, RBI; Wooten 1-2, RBI.

LOB -- Greene Central 7, Eastern Wayne 3. SB -- Gurley.


Greene Central

Tyndall 4 3 2 2 2 4

Elmore (L, 0-1) 1/3 2 4 4 4 0

Speedy 12/3 0 1 0 0 1

Eastern Wayne

Sutton 4 4 2 2 1 5

Lancaster (W,1-0) 11/3 3 2 2 2 3

Wooten (S, 1) 12/3 2 0 0 0 2

WP -- Elmore, Speedy 2, Sutton, Lancaster. PB -- Brann. HBP -- Wooten (by Elmore).