07/27/07 — Hinson pitches Post 11 past New Bern

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Hinson pitches Post 11 past New Bern

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on July 27, 2007 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- When T.J. Hinson woke up this morning his arm may have been sore, but any pain will be worth it.

Hinson's right arm carried Wayne County Post 11 to a 4-1 win over New Bern Post 24.

Hinson recorded a brilliant performance on the mound in game one of the Area I Eastern Division championship series on Thursday night. He allowed just two hits and struck out a season-high 13 batters in eight-plus innings to pick up the win.

"T.J.'s been there for us all year," said Post 11 coach Brad Reaves. "He's been our workhorse on the mound and established himself as a leader out there. He hit his spots all night and worked out of jams against a good ball team tonight.

"He should've finished with a shutout. He did a super job."

The game opened with a preview of what was to come for the New Bern batters. Hinson struck out the side and began piling up the strikeouts from there.

"I tried getting ahead and let my defense play," said Hinson. "I just had good stuff and was able to get ahead of the hitters."

Hinson's defense did however let him down in the third inning as Post 24 scored the game's first run.

With one out and runners on first and second, Bobby Dorman hit a ground ball to Walker Gourley. Feeling rushed to get the double play, Gourley misplayed the ball to load the bases.

Sam Sanders then hit into a fielder's choice to bring home Auston Zaire to make it 1-0 New Bern.

New Bern (15-7 overall) had a chance to seize complete control in the sixth inning when it loaded the bases against Hinson with one out.

Clean-up hitter Brett Williams sent a Hinson pitch deep down the left-field line that eventually flew foul by just a few feet. Hinson buckled down and struck Williams out swinging, and induced an inning-ending ground out to keep the game 1-0.

The lead seemed as if it may hold up as Hinson's opposition was equally as dominant over the first seven innings. Post 24 starter Keith Spinner had held Wayne County scoreless until the bottom of the sixth.

An RBI single by Jay Rose in the inning finally got Wayne County on the board and tied the game at 1-1.

"He carved us up early," said Reaves.

In the eighth inning, Wayne County mounted a rally against Spinner who committed the cardinal sin of a pitcher -- he walked the lead-off batter.

With Jackson Massey on first base, Gourley legged out a perfect bunt single. Garrett Davis then stepped up and drove in Massey with an RBI double to give Post 11 the lead for good.

"The key was Walker getting the bunt down," said Reaves. "You've got to do the little things because if you don't, you're not going to win."

John Wooten would follow with an RBI single and Jay Rose closed the scoring with a run-scoring ground out to give Wayne County the 4-1 advantage.

Working with a lead for the first time all night Hinson was determined to finish what he starter. His coach wanted the same. But complete game wasn't in the cards for Hinson as he loaded the bases off two walks and a hit batter.

Brandon Price entered and got Dorman to hit a short fly ball to left field. As the runners raced from all three bases, left fielder Will Edgerton wasn't about to let Price blow the save. He raced in, slid and made a spectacular diving catch to end the game.

The victory gave Wayne County (19-4) a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Game two will take place tonight at 7 p.m. on the campus of Mount Olive College.

New Bern 001 000 000 -- 1 2 0

Wayne Co. 000 001 03x -- 4 9 2

Leading hitters -- New Bern -- Auston Zaire 1-3; Chris Dorman 1-4; Sam Sanders RBI. Wayne County -- Jay Rose 2-4, 2 RBI; John Wooten 2-4, RBI; Garrett Davis 1-4, 2B, RBI; Tyler Ham 1-3.

DP -- New Bern 1, Wayne County 1. LOB -- New Bern 10, Wayne County 6. SB -- Le Blanc. CS -- Rose 2, Sanders.


New Bern

Spinner (L) 7 1/3 9 4 4 4 6

O'Brien 2/3 0 0 0 0 0

Wayne County

Hinson (W) 8 2/3 2 1 0 7 13

Price (S) 1/3 0 0 0 0 0

WP -- Spinner 2.