04/06/07 — Eastern Wayne completes regular-season sweep of Saints

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Eastern Wayne completes regular-season sweep of Saints

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on April 6, 2007 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- The cold weather being blown in did nothing to cool down the red hot Eastern Wayne bats.

One game after pounding out 19 hits, the Warriors battered Southern Wayne pitching for 13 in their 7-4 win on Thursday evening in a Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference showdown.

Eight of the nine Eastern Wayne hitters tallied at least one hit with catcher Tyler Wicks leading the way with three hits while Walker Gourley, Taylor Sutton and John Wooten all tallied two hits apiece.

"We put the ball in play and put pressure on (Southern Wayne)," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum. "We're hitting the ball really well right now."

The hit parade started in the second inning when a hit batter and singles by Wicks and Jeff Hill loaded the bases with one out. Jose Ponce then took ball four from starting pitcher Michael Douglas to force home the game's first run.

Eastern Wayne failed to strike again in the inning as Douglas slammed the door on the potential rally by getting Chad Gurley to ground into a fielder's choice and Walker Gourley to hit an inning ending ground out.

Southern Wayne came right back to tie the game -- without the aid of a hit -- when Scott Holloman's ground out scored Byron Powell.

Douglas got into more trouble in the third when Nolan Lancaster came up with a runner on and one out. Lancaster promptly deposited a fast ball from the right hander over the center field fence for a two-run homer, giving the Warriors a 3-1 lead.

"(Nolan) hit the ball good that time," said Fulghum. "He got a fast ball down the middle and make good contact."

An error in the inning would later bring home Wicks to make it 4-1 Eastern Wayne.

Even though he allowed one run, Taylor Sutton continued to pitch well in the bottom of the inning and retired the first two hitters he faced. Garrett Barfield and Byron Powell then got things going as they hit back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 4-2.

In the fourth, Douglas began to get hit hard. Five of the first six Eastern Wayne hitters singled up the middle to bring home two more runs. Jackson Fredrick and Wicks recorded the RBIs in the inning.

"Wicks has hit the ball really well lately," Fulghum said.

Douglas departed trailing 6-2 after allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits, walked two and struck out one.

Trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Saints mounted a comeback.

With one out, Dave Overman walked and stole second. After a Barfield ground out, Powell and Brady Wiggins came up with RBI singles to make it 6-4 Warriors.

In the sixth, the Saints brought the tying run to the plate against Sutton with two outs. The right hander coolly struck out Dave Overman on three pitches to put an end to the threat.

"We had plenty of opportunities," said Southern Wayne coach Trae McKee, whose team left six runners in scoring position. "We're just searching for a big hit right now. We need someone to step up and get that big hit.

"Sooner or later we're going to capitalize on all these opportunities."

Eastern Wayne put another insurance run on the board in the seventh inning when Gourley singled home Hill. The damage could have been more though as Wooten was robbed of an RBI hit when Overman made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.

Sutton finished off the Saints by inducing a double-play ground out from Tyler Edwards to end the game.

Sutton (2-0) allowed four runs (three earned) in his complete game effort while striking out four and walking four.

"Taylor didn't have it early, but he found the strike zone and kept the ball down later in the game," said Fulghum. "He made an adjustment on the mound and did a great job."

The victory allows Eastern Wayne to remain tied with Charles B. Aycock for first place in the ECC with a 5-1 record (7-8 overall).

Southern Wayne falls to 5-9 overall (2-4 ECC).

Following their Easter tournament in Greenville this weekend, the Warriors have themselves in a good position to remain in first as they will play conference foes Wilson Hunt and Wilson Beddingfield at home before a rematch at C.B. Aycock on April 24.

"The kids put themselves in position to stay tied for first," said Fulghum. "We've just got to keep playing these games one game at a time now."

Eastern Wayne 013 200 1 -- 7 13 2

Southern Wayne 011 020 0 -- 4 6 2

Leading Hitters -- Eastern Wayne -- Tyler Wicks 3-3, RBI, R; Walker Gourley 2-4, RBI; John Wooten 2-5, 2 R; Taylor Sutton 2-4, R; Nolan Lancaster 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R. Southern Wayne -- Garrett Barfield 1-4, 2B, R; Byron Powell 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R.

DP -- Eastern Wayne 1. LOB -- Eastern Wayne 11, Southern Wayne 8. SB -- Gourley, Wooten, Lancaster, Overman. CS -- Sutton. S -- Ponce.


Eastern Wayne

Sutton (W, 2-0) 7 6 4 3 4 4

Southern Wayne

Douglas (L) 4 10 6 5 2 1

Powell 3 3 1 1 1 1

HBP -- by Sutton (Wiggins), by Douglas (Lancaster), by Powell (Gurley).