06/24/07 — Epic Legion skirmish: Post 11 wins wild contest against Wilson

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Epic Legion skirmish: Post 11 wins wild contest against Wilson

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on June 24, 2007 2:01 AM

WILSON -- Big innings, trash talking, late comebacks, hit batters and spectacular plays led to another fun night for American Legion archrivals Wayne County Post 11 and Wilson Post 13.

Wayne County had an early 5-0 lead evaporate when Wilson scored seven unanswered runs. But Post 11 didn't flounder and responded with a five-run outburst which spearheaded a wild, 10-9 victory on the Fleming Stadium diamond Friday evening.

"This is Wilson-Wayne baseball," said Wayne County Post 11 coach Brad Reaves. "I mean hey, this is what you want. It was a good ball game."

For Wayne County, Walker Gourley had a huge night going 4-for-5 with an RBI while John Wooten contributed three hits and RBI. Overall, Post 11 pounded out 16 hits in the three-hour, 10-minute marathon.

Those hot bats got Wayne County going at the start as they exploded for four first-inning runs. Wooten, Jay Rose, Tyler Ham and Dave Overman all contributed RBIs.

The lead was 5-0 in the fourth inning when Wayne County starter Taylor Bullard got into serious trouble. The Harrells Christian product allowed the first five batters to reach base.

After giving way to Taylor Allen, Wilson kept getting runs home via walks and hit batters. Thomas Moore had the big hit -- a two-run single which pushed Wilson ahead 7-5.

Despite being on the wrong end of a big inning, Wayne County fought back. In the top of the fifth, Post 11 pulled within a single run before the game took a crazy turn.

With both benches taunting each other, tensions were high in the eighth inning. Wilson reliever R.B. Edmundson took the mound for his third inning of work and got into trouble when Nolan Lancaster and Overman both reached on hits.

Following a sacrifice by Will Edgerton, Gourley drove home the tying run. Edmundson then drilled Jackson Massey with a pitch. Massey and Edmundson jawed at each other, but cooler heads prevailed.

Wooten took advantage of the baserunners with a two-run single to give Wayne County a 9-7 advantage.

"John's a good hitter and he's clutch," said Reaves. "He can have one bad at-bat and the very next one, shake it off and he's ready to go."

Thomas Pilkington capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to put Wayne County up by three.

Wilson still had plenty of fight left and came right back in the bottom of the inning. Post 13 loaded the bases with no outs following a walk to Bradley Taylor.

Reliever T.J. Hinson then induced a double-play ball from Brett Allen and it looked as if Wayne County might escape.

Edmundson did his best to erase his performance on the mound the previous inning when he laced a two-run single to cut the lead to 10-9.

Blake Jones lined into the gap. With Edmundson flying around the bases, Ham received a perfect throw and got ran over by Edmundson. After the dust settled, Ham jumped up with the ball and the umpire called Edmundson out.

Edmundson immediately jumped into the face of the umpire and Ham.

Both benches emptied, but order was restored quickly and without much incident.

In the bottom of the ninth, Wilson again loaded the bases. Hinson saved the night as he struck Lamm out swinging and got Taylor to ground into a fielder's choice to end the game.

Wayne County (7-1 overall) travels to Pitt County Post 39 today before an anticipated rematch versus Wilson in Mount Olive on Monday.

"This is a good group right here," said Reaves. "I told my coaches this is going to be a fun group. They're going to be one of my favorites."

Post 11 410 010 040 -- 10 16 1

Post 13 000 700 020 -- 9 12 2

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Walker Gourley 4-5, RBI; John Wooten 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI; Dave Overman 2-4, RBI; Tyler Ham 2-5, RBI; Jay Rose 2-4, RBI. Wilson -- Thomas Moore 4-5, 2 RBI; Zac Moore 3-5, RBI; Blake Jones 3-5.

DP -- Wayne County 4, Wilson 1. LOB -- Wayne County 9, Wilson 15. SB -- Taylor. CS -- Lancaster, Overman. SH -- Edgerton. SF - Pilkington, Whitehead.


Wayne County

Bullard 3 5 5 5 2 3

Allen 1 1/3 2 2 2 2 1

Grice (W, 1-0) 2 2/3 2 2 2 2 1

Hinson (S, 1) 2 4 0 0 1 1


Harmon 4 9 6 6 2 4

Edmundson (L) 4 6 4 4 2 1

Watson 1 1 0 0 0 1

Bullard pitched to five batters in the fourth. Harmon pitched to three batters in the fifth. Grice pitched to two batters in the eighth.

WP -- Harmon, Allen. PB -- Ham 2. HBP -- by Bullard (Lamm, Edmundson, Moore, Toler), by Allen (Davis), by Grice (Pilkington), by Harmon (Pilkington), by Edmundson (Massey).

T - 3:10