07/05/07 — Hinson, Wayne County shuts down Kinston

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Hinson, Wayne County shuts down Kinston

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 5, 2007 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- T.J. Hinson kept that sleeping dog subdued Tuesday evening.

The right-hander scattered six hits in a seven-inning stint as Wayne County Post 11 claimed a 4-1 decision over South Division rival Kinston Post 43 at Scarborough Field. With the victory, Wayne County earned a trip to the season-ending, Area I East Division playoffs.

Haunted by close losses all season, Kinston (9-7 overall) concluded South Division play with a 3-7 ledger. Unless its opponents experience a monumental collapse in division play, Post 43 will not advance to the postseason.

"I was hoping we could get them down early and keep them down," said Post 11 coach Brad Reaves. "That old sleeping dog, you want to let him lie. You don't want to wake him up. I knew Kinston was due for a good game."

Hinson was simply better.

The rising sophomore at Lenoir Community College retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced in his eighth mound appearance of the season. Kinston put runners aboard in four innings, but went down in order three times against the hard-throwing hurler.

Post 43 stranded three runners in scoring position with two outs or less, and manufactured its lone run in the fourth inning. Brad Jones foiled Hinson's shutout bid with a two-out, RBI single up the middle.

Hinson induced nine ground-ball outs, five flyouts and seven strikeouts. He threw nearly 100 pitches in the 2-hour, 3-minute affair.

"When I saw his first few warm-up pitches, I knew he was going to be pretty good because everything was down around the knees and his curveball had some bite," said Reaves. "This was a big game for us and he's been right there all year for us, so I thought he deserved (to start) this game."

Hinson (4-1) collected his seventh career victory in three American Legion seasons. Brandon Price tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Garrett Davis mopped up in the ninth for his second consecutive save.

"I thought T.J. was pretty dag-gone good and that's the T.J. we saw earlier in the year," said Reaves. "He's had a little rest, too. He kept us in the ball game and we played good defense like we normally do."

Wayne County (11-2 overall) erased a scoreless tie in the second inning.

Thomas Pilkington (2-for-4) laced a double into left field and moved to third on Zack Wright's deep fly ball to center field. Chad Gurley plated Pilkington with a groundout to shortstop.

"It was supposed to be a suicide squeeze," laughed Reaves. "He missed a sign and liked to have killed Thomas."

Gurley accounted for Post 11's second run with a fourth-inning double to center field. Post 43's Billy Dudding dove for the ball, but it dropped in front of his glove.

John Wooten supplied a one-out, two-RBI in the fifth inning. His two-run single gave Wooten a team-leading 19 RBI.

"John had another big hit ... is Mr. RBI right now," said Reaves.

Post 11 touched Kinston right-hander Dewitt Pope for nine hits, and finished with 10 hits overall. Walker Gourley batted 4-for-4, giving him a team-leading 29 hits. Jackson Massey went 1-for-4 and Nolan Lancaster delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth.

Wayne County seized its fifth consecutive win and rose to 6-2 in South Division play. Reaves' team begins a three-game road swing today at Area I East newcomer Edgecombe County. Post 11 is the guest of South Division rivals New Bern and Pitt County Post 160 next Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

"The way we're playing right now, I feel pretty good about things," said Reaves. "They're loose in the dugout and the kids are playing easy, but they're playing hard. It's a good group like I've said all along."

the way we're playing right now, I feel pretty good about things. they're loose in the dugout and the kids are playing easy, but they're playing hard. it's a good group like I've said all along

Kinston 000 100 000 -- 1 8 1

Wayne Co. 010 120 00x -- 4 10 1

Leading hitters -- Kinston -- Caleb Wetherington 2-3, 2B; Tyler Smith 2-3; Brad Jones 1-3, RBI. Wayne County -- Walker Gourley 4-4; John Wooten 1-3, 2 RBI; Nolan Lancaster 1-1; Thomas Pilkington 2-4; Chad Gurley 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI.

DP -- Kinston 1. LOB -- Kinston 7, Wayne County 7. SB -- Wooten, Pilkington. SH -- Smith.


Kinston Post 43

Pope (L) 7 9 4 4 1 2

Williams 1 1 0 0 0 0

Wayne County Post 11

Hinson (W, 4-1) 7 6 1 1 0 7

Price 1 1 0 0 0 1

Davis (S) 1 1 0 0 0 2

WP -- Hinson.

T -- 2:03.