Senior Legion playoffs: Post 11 tops Nash County
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 17, 2007 1:48 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11 right-hander T.J. Hinson didn't feel comfortable taking the mound Monday evening against Nash County Post 58.
Garrett Davis certainly did.
Originally scheduled to pitch today, Davis logged a superb six-inning outing and slugged a home run in Wayne County's 5-1 victory at Scarborough Field. Post 11 seized a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three, Area I East Division quarter-final series, which shifts to Rocky Mount Academy today.
Game time is 7 p.m.
Wayne County claimed its first playoff win since 2004 and improved to 6-0 in postseason meetings against Post 58 since 1996.
"T.J. felt like he needed another day and Garrett said he was ready," said Wayne County coach Brad Reaves. "I thought Garrett could give us five or six innings, and I just wanted to see him throw strikes."
Davis and battery mate Zack Wright had seen part of Post 58's lineup during Charles B. Aycock's eastern regional series against Northern Nash. The familiarity proved beneficial and eased Reaves' concerns of putting Davis in a starting role.
Before Monday, Davis had thrown just nine innings in five relief appearances.
"I had a few things on them and I knew Zack had seen most of them and Garrett had seen most of them," said Reaves. "I felt confident with them two out there."
Davis (2-0) scattered four hits and notched 11 strikeouts in the 2-hour, 24-minute contest. Nash County put runners aboard in five of six innings, but stranded five me at either second or third base.
Wright supported Davis by picking off a Post 58 runner at first base, which completed an inning-ending double play. Davis escaped the fourth inning with Nash County runners at second and third overall.
Overall, Post 58 finished 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"You can't do much unless you hit the ball," said second-year Nash County coach Lance Peck. "We had a couple of chances with runners in scoring position, but did not hit the ball. There really isn't much you can say about it."
Unlike Davis, Pitt Community College signee Zach Woodley couldn't avoid the big inning. After catcher Alex Pearce gunned down Nolan Lancaster at second base, Woodley issued a walk to Chad Gurley.
Jackson Massey, a left-handed hitter, connected on an opposite-field triple and Gurley trotted home for the 1-0 lead. Walker Gourley grounded out to shortstop and scored Massey for his team-leading 22nd RBI of the season.
Davis concluded the scoring with a solo home run -- his third of the season -- over the right center field wall.
"We got some timely hits, but we still didn't hit like we're capable," said Reaves.
Wayne County left runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings until it scratched again in the eighth. Davis tripled to right center field and scored on Jay Rose's fielder's choice. John Wooten, who walked, accounted for the final run when Post 58 reliever Brian Allen plunked Wright with the bases loaded.
Massey notched the save with three innings of three-hit, two-strikeout relief.
Nash County scored in the seventh, but couldn't avoid losing its third consecutive playoff game.
"We needed it," said Reaves. " We've got a good group of kids, but they've got to get re-focused and maybe we did that tonight. It seems like the last couple of years we've lost focus when we've gotten to this point (of the season).
"Maybe we'll figure it out and keep playing (a while)."
In other games involving Area I East teams, North Division champion Edenton earned an 11-3 decision over Pitt County Post 39, Wilson dumped Pitt County 160 9-3 and South Division champ New Bern edged Beaufort 6-4 in a rain-shortened, five-inning affair.
Nash County 000 000 100 -- 1 7 2
Wayne County 003 000 20x -- 5 8 1
Leading hitters -- Nash County -- Cockrell 2-4. Wayne County -- Jackson Massey 1-4, RBI; Garrett Davis 3-5, 3B, HR, 2 RBI; Will Edgerton 2-4; Nolan Lancaster 1-3; Zack Wright 1-3, RBI; Walker Gourley RBI.
DP -- Nash County 1, Wayne County 1. SB -- Gurley. CS -- Lancaster, Massey, Moore. SH -- Allen.
IP H R ER BB SO
Woodley (L) 6 6 3 3 5 5
Allen 2 2 2 1 1 3
Davis (W, 2-0) 6 4 0 0 2 11
Massey (S, 1) 3 3 1 1 1 2
WP -- Massey. PB -- Pearce, Wright. HBP -- Webb (by Davis), Wright (by Allen), Massey (by Allen).
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