Wayne County has rough day
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 25, 2007 1:50 PM
GREENVILLE -- Wayne County Post 11 could have taken full command of the Area I East South Division race Sunday evening.
It didn't happen.
Post 11, instead, mulled through six errors and 13 strikeouts, and mustered just three hits with runners in scoring position. Those misgivings, along with the lack of intensity, resulted in a 12-9 loss to Pitt County Post 39 at the Minges-Overton Baseball Complex.
The loss snapped Wayne County's three-game win streak in South Division play. Post 11 kept its half-game lead over Pitt County 160, which suffered a three-run defeat to Kinston.
"We had a chance to be in the driver's seat," said Wayne County coach Brad Reaves. "Nobody wanted to reach up and grab it. We absolutely didn't come to prepared to play tonight and we acted like we didn't want to be here.
"You could see it in their eyes when we got off the bus."
Wayne County (7-2 overall) produced just three hits and manufactured a single run through six innings. Walker Gourley forged a third-inning, 1-1 tie with a two-strike single which scored Chad Gurley.
Post 11 wasted its remaining opportunities and stranded eight runners on base against Post 39 right-hander Cameron Rollins. Rollins fed Wayne County batters a steady diet of off-speed pitches to prevent any further uprisings.
"I told them before he (Rollins) went out there that he's going to curve ball you to death," said Reaves. "Not a single person attempted to take the ball the other way (to opposite field). We did not make an adjustment the entire game.
"Some of them are being hard-headed right now and won't listen."
Wayne County compounded its troubles with a disastrous fifth inning on defense. A dropped pop-up in foul territory kept the No. 9 batter, Carter Gannon, at the plate. Gannon eventually reached on an infield error.
Another infield error kept Post 39 alive on the bases and led to a four-run outburst off Post 11 right-hander John Wooten. Josh Hudson and Daniel Boyd each delivered a back-breaking, two-RBI hit during the inning.
"We pitched it good enough to win, but you can't kick it all over the yard like that," said a disgusted Reaves.
Wooten exited after the fifth. Right-handed reliever Brandon Price yielded a sixth-inning home run. Jackson Massey threw one-plus innings of relief, but allowed five runs. Sterling Grice provided 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.
Wayne County notched seven earned runs off five hits against Post 39's Chase Hardee. Thomas Pilkington (3-for-5, 5 RBI) connected on a pair of two-RBI hits during that stretch.
Boyd replaced Hardee and proceeded to hit two batters in the ninth. He erased one runner on a pick-off play at first. With two outs and runners on the corners, Boyd struck out Jay Rose to end the game.
Post 11 left 14 runners on base in the three-hour affair and finished with eight hits.
Reaves didn't mince words with his players in the post-game huddle.
"I asked them who wants to be up with runners on second and third with one out in the ninth?," said Reaves. "Who wants to be the pitcher that we've got a one-run lead and comes to me says 'coach I want the ball in the eighth?'
"Right now, I didn't see a leader out there. Nobody wanted to be in that situation and you could see it in their eyes. There is not a leader in the bunch.
"There are several (players) with their own agendas and it's not about Wayne County right now. Until they figure out it's a team at Wayne County, it's going to be like this."
Reaves said today's game with Wilson Post 13 has been canceled due to a cut power line at Scarborough Field. The non-division game will not be rescheduled.
Wayne Co. 001 000 350 -- 9 9 6
Pitt 39 010 041 60x -- 12 8 1
Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Walker Gourley 2-5, RBI; Jackson Massey 1-3, RBI; Garrett Davis 1-2; Jay Rose 2-5, 2B, RBI; Thomas Pilkington 3-5, 2B, 5 RBI. Pitt County 39 -- Michael Spruill 1-5, 2 RBI; Trey Styons 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Josh Hudson 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Daniel Boyd 1-4, 2 RBI; Andy Powers 2-5, RBI; Trey Frueler 1-5, HR, RBI; Clark Massey 1-3, HR, RBI.
LOB -- Wayne County 14, Pitt County 39 5. SB -- Gurley. CS -- Styons.
IP H R ER BB SO
Wooten (L) 5 4 5 3 2 3
Price 1 1 1 1 0 1
Massey 2/3 1 5 5 3 1
Grice 1 1/3 2 1 1 0 0
Pitt County 39
Rollins (W) 6 3 2 2 5 10
Hardee 1 1/3 5 7 7 3 1
Boyd (S) 1 2/3 1 0 0 0 2
WP -- Rollins. HBP -- by Rollins (Edgerton, Massey, Casey), by Hardee (Davis), by Boyd (Lancaster, Casey, Massey).
T -- 3:00.
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