03/06/08 — Saints suffer late-inning loss

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Saints suffer late-inning loss

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 6, 2008 1:49 PM

DUDLEY -- A bloop and a blast led to Wilmington Hoggard's 3-0, non-conference victory over Southern Wayne on Wednesday afternoon -- an unfitting ending to a solid pitchers' duel.

After six scoreless innings, the Vikings began their rally on Luke Caldwell's one-out single. Teammate Nick Malter hit a towering fly ball to center field that was lost by the Saints and the miscue put runners in scoring position.

Scott Coleman followed with a bases-clearing blast over the right-field fence to conclude the scoring against Southern Wayne reliever Raymond Valazquez.

"I was just really trying to put the ball in play somewhere with guys on base and only one out," said Coleman, a sophomore. "I was fortunate that I got a pitch I could drive."

Coleman also grabbed the mound victory, limiting Southern Wayne to two hits.

"For just being a 10th-grader, he has a world of potential," said Hoggard coach Jeep St. Ledger. "We were keeping him on a pitch count, so we knew the seventh inning was going to be his last even if we didn't score."

Saints coach Trae McKee praised his pitching staff.

"I thought all of our pitchers did a great job," he said. "Michael Douglas was very god for six innings, and this time of year in a gray sky things happen, but I thought we did a very good job on the mound."

"Their pitcher did a nice job as well, he had an electric fastball tonight and the off-speed stuff was solid. It was good for us to see a pitcher like that before we get into the conference schedule."

Coleman struck out 11 Saints, and walked none as he worked on his over-hand curveball.

"The curve felt good tonight," said Coleman. "I had a little trouble with it in the first inning, so I started setting it up with the fastball and hitting my spots."

Douglas battled a potent Hoggard lineup for six innings, allowing zero runs on five hits and three walks. Valazquez tossed two-things of an inning, and Phil Howell got the game's final out.

Jordan Hood batted 1-for-2 and Jordan Williams added a seventh-inning double to account for the Saints' offense.

Southern Wayne (0-1 overall) entertains North Johnston today.