Warriors pound Wake County
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on April 11, 2007 1:48 PM
GREENVILLE -- Like a volcano spewing smoke, the eruption of Eastern Wayne's offense seemed inevitable.
Facing a pitcher who wasn't overpowering and who didn't have the best control, the Warriors hit ball after ball hard only to see them land into the waiting gloves of Wake County player.
With the score inexplicably tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Eastern Wayne finally blew its top.
The Warriors would score 10 runs over the next three innings to win 11-1 in six innings over Wake County in the third-place game of the Jimmie R. Grimsley Hot Stove Tournament at Guy Smith Stadium.
"It's really frustrating (not getting a base hit), but you know eventually hits are going to fall," said Eastern Wayne catcher Tyler Wicks. "They can't catch everything. If you hit it hard, it's going to eventually fall somewhere."
Looking at a 1-0 deficit and coming off 5-3 loss to J.H. Rose where the Warriors struggled to get any key hits, the frustration was mounting for Eastern Wayne early on.
Things seemed to get worse even though the Warriors tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning on a RBI double by Wicks, but had their rally ended prematurely as Jackson Frederick stuck out with runners on second and third.
"We hit some balls hard at some people, but you just have to keep hitting and you'll find a hole after a while," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum.
Wake County pitcher Bryan Stephenson had stranded six runners -- four in scoring position -- over the first three innings.
Meanwhile, Eastern Wayne pitcher Corey Harr was cruising along after allowing a first inning run, but found himself in a little trouble in the top of the fourth.
Following a hit batter, a single by Chase Hall and a Harr wild pitch, Wake County runners were on second and third with two outs. Harr got out of danger by getting David Kemp to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Harr (1-0) picked up his first win of the season by allowing only one run on six hits while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings.
Eastern Wayne then got its offense flowing in the bottom of the inning.
With Stephenson clearly battling with his control, the Warriors got patient. Walks to Daniel Swartz and Chad Gurley along with an error by Ricky Rueda loaded the bases with no one out. Stephenson's third wild pitch of the inning then brought home Swartz and Gurley followed home on a sacrifice fly by Walker Gourley to make it 3-1 Eastern Wayne.
Taylor Sutton added an RBI single and then came home on a rundown started by pinch runner Jeff Hill to give the Warriors a 5-1 advantage.
"We came in a little lackadaisical, thinking this would be easy and then that first run kind of scared us," said Wicks. "Once we got our bats going those hits became contagious."
The hits continued to come in the fifth inning off of reliever Bobby Craig.
Eastern Wayne would send 10 men to the plate and score five runs to go ahead 10-1. Nolan Lancaster and Gourley had big two-run singles in the inning.
"We finally got some timely hits towards the end," said Fulghum.
The Warriors put an end to the game in the bottom of the sixth when Hill was hit by a Craig pitch with the bases loaded to force home Swartz with the 11th and final run.
For the Warriors (9-8), Frederick finished 3-for-4 with a double while Gurley, Wicks and Swartz each added two hits apiece.
Following a week long break, Eastern Wayne will return to the diamond on April 17 when it hosts Wilson Hunt.
"We finished the tournament off good and now, we're looking forward to conference play next week," said Fulghum. "We're trying to get better and I thought we got better in this tournament."
Wake County 100 000 -- 1 6 2
Eastern Wayne 001 451 -- 11 13 3
Leading Hitters -- Wake County -- Daniel Rosoff 3-3; Bobby Craig 1-3, 2B, R. Eastern Wayne -- Jackson Frederick 3-4, 2B, R; Chad Gurley 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R; Tyler Wicks 2-4, 2B, RBI; Daniel Swartz 2-3, 2 R; Walker Gourley 1-2, 3 RBI, R; Taylor Sutton 1-2, 2 R, RBI; Nolan Lancaster 1-3, 2 RBI.
LOB -- Wake County 9, Eastern Wayne 9. SB -- Rosoff, Gourley, Wooten, Sutton, Lancaster, Ponce. SF -- Gourley.
IP H R ER BB SO
Stephenson (L) 3 2/3 5 5 5 4 3
Craig 1 1/3 6 5 5 2 1
Furlough 2/3 2 1 1 1 0
Harr (W, 1-0) 4 2/3 6 1 1 0 2
Otellio 1 1/3 0 0 0 1 2
WP -- Stephenson 5, Harr. PB -- Vogt 2. HBP -- by Stephenson (Ponce, Gourley), Furlough (Hill), by Harr (Vogt).
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