Errors costly for Wayne County
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on July 12, 2007 1:49 PM
Wayne County coach Joe Bailey could only shake his head as he spoke of his team's performance.
Six errors directly contributed to seven Greene County runs.
Those mistakes proved the difference as the Wayne County 13-15 year-olds dropped a crucial 9-7 game to Greene County in their best-of-three Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth District 4 tournament at Eastern Carolina Athletic Park on Thursday night.
"It was costly," said Bailey. "They came out here tonight and didn't really have their heads in the game."
The loss now means Wayne County and Greene County will play a decisive third game today.
All 8 p.m. games at the tournament were postponed last night after the area was against pelted by strong storms.
Greene County caused its own storm in game two of the best-of-three series as it took advantage of virtually every mistake Wayne County made.
In the first inning, a misplay on a ground ball by third baseman Michael Johnson got the ball rolling in the ugliest of ways.
Wes Sowers reached on the play and stole second. With one out, an error by pitcher Steven Carlton brought home the game's first run.
Derek Grant added an RBI groundout in the inning to give Greene County the much needed 2-0 advantage.
The lead grew to 6-0 in the top of the second.
A leadoff walk to Ross Johnson got the inning started. After a sacrifice bunt by Ben Carraway, Wes Crandell delivered the RBI single.
Carlton struggled with his control in the inning and eventually walked in a run to end his day.
Carlton allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings while issuing four walks.
"I don't know if Steven couldn't handle the pressure of what," said Bailey. "He just didn't get the job done tonight."
Despite trailing 6-0, Wayne County didn't go quietly.
Dontè Arthur threw four quality innings of relief to keep Wayne County in the game.
Wayne County scratched the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when it got three straight hits from Jimmy Kearney, Dominick Arthur and Nick Gurley to plate three runs and cut the Greene County lead in half at 6-3.
The lead shrank to two runs at 7-5 in the fourth inning when two wild pitches by Greene County starter C.J. Faulkner brought Travis Weaver and Johnson home.
Each time Wayne County seemed to seize momentum, Greene County ripped it right back.
An RBI groundout by Trent Murray and a sacrifice fly by David Stallings padded the lead to 9-5 in the next half inning.
Wayne County would again cut the lead to two with a couple of runs in the bottom of the sixth, but could never get any closer.
"They never gave up, but they never really put their whole heart into the game," said a disappointed Bailey.
For Wayne County, Dontè Arthur, Weaver and Gurley all had two hits apiece.
Kyle McLawhorn finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs while Sowers had two hits, an RBI and a stolen base to lead the way for Greene County.
Greene County 240 120 0 -- 9 6 0
Wayne County 003 202 0 -- 7 11 6
Leading Hitters -- Greene County -- Wes Sowers 2-5, R, RBI; Kyle McLawhorn 2-4, 2 RBI; Wes Crandell 1-2, 2 R, RBI; Derek Grant 0-3, 2 RBI; David Stallings 0-2, 2 R, RBI. Wayne County -- Dontè Arthur 2-4, RBI, R; Nick Gurley 2-4, 2B, RBI; Travis Weaver 2-3, 2 R; Jimmy Kearney 1-2, 2B, RBI, R; Dean Grady 1-4, 2B; Dominick Arthur 1-2, RBI, R.
LOB -- Greene County 8 , Wayne County 6. SB -- Sowers. CS -- Hatem. S -- Carraway. SF -- Stallings.
IP H R ER BB SO
Faulkner (W) 4 2/3 11 7 7 2 5
Sowers (S) 1 1/3 0 0 0 2 1
Carlton (L) 1 2/3 1 6 2 4 1
Arthur 4 1/3 3 3 2 2 4
Grady 1 2 0 0 0 0
WP -- Sowers 2, Faulkner, Carlton. PB -- Murray 2.
Wayne County didn't even need to swing the bats as they came away with another easy victory.
The Wayne County 13-year-olds took full advantage of some wild Wilson County pitching to score early and often in the 12-1 win.
Wilson County pitchers combined to issue 10 walks to the Wayne County batters.
The big hit though, came off the bat of Taylor Brock.
With the bases loaded in the first inning, Brock lined a pitch for a three-run double to put Wayne County ahead for good.
"Their kid was having some trouble getting it over the plate," said Wayne County coach Rick Grantham. "Taylor then put that double in the gap and that put us in pretty good position."
Starter Bryant Stafford pitched well and picked up the win.
"I thought our pitching was outstanding," said Grantham. "Bryant got better as he went along."
The victory moved Wayne County within one win of a berth in the state tournament.
"You've got to take advantage when someone isn't at their very best and we did that tonight," said Grantham.
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