Eastern Wayne pounds out 17 hits
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 21, 2008 1:49 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Since the latest conference realignment in 2005, Eastern Wayne hadn't experienced much success against county archrival Charles B. Aycock on the baseball diamond.
Winless in their previous four trips, the Warriors ended the futility with a convincing 12-2, five-inning victory. Eastern Wayne joined Aycock atop the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference standings at 3-1 heading into Easter break.
"We walked off the bus focused today and ready to play baseball," said Warriors head coach Jabo Fulghum.
And Eastern Wayne swung the sticks, too. Seven of nine Warriors recorded multiple-hit performances in the 1-hour, 47-minute contest. Three Golden Falcon hurlers combined to issue a season-high 17 hits including three home runs -- one each to Tyler Wicks, Nolan Lancaster and Michael Mintz.
Mintz mashed his first-ever varsity homer, a three-run shot, in the fourth inning. Lancaster ended the day 2-for-3 and has five extra-base hits in his last two outings, including four doubles. Wicks batted 2-for-2 and walked twice. The trio combined for six RBI.
"All of us came out here with intensity and we all played hard," said Mintz. "We wanted the game and we got it."
Eastern Wayne (6-4 overall) pounded out 15 hits and tallied 11 runs in a three-inning stretch. The Warriors chased left-handed starter Eric DuBose (2-2) in the fourth after John Wooten smacked an RBI double to left-center field.
Jimmy Kearney and Josh Martin, two first-year varsity pitchers, combined for 1 2/3 innings of relief. The Warriors had just three strikeouts in 34 at-bats and all 12 runs were earned.
"I told my guys it's all about location," said Aycock coach Charles Davis. "When you miss with location against a good-hitting team like Eastern Wayne, they're going to make you pay for it. There's no doubt they made us pay for it today."
The Golden Falcons (6-3) tallied just four hits against Mintz and Wooten. Mintz permitted two unearned runs on three hits, while Wooten yielded a lead-off double to Bryant Hill in the fifth inning.
Aycock grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second inning. Jordan Carr cranked out a lead-off single and advanced when the Warrior defense misplayed Stephen Strouse's bunt. Carr crossed home on Jonathan Taylor's sacrifice fly to right field.
Strouse and Tyler Ruffin executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt for the Golden Falcons' second run. Aycock left the bases loaded in the third inning, and put one runner aboard in the fourth and fifth innings.
"You have to pitch carefully to them and as long as you can keep it out of fat part of the plate, I know my fielders can do the rest for me," said Mintz. "I was using a lot of curveballs and my change-up got a few pop-ups for me. If I didn't have those I would have been in trouble."
Wicks homered and Jeff Hill (2-for-4) supplied an RBI single in the third to ignite Eastern Wayne's 11-run outburst over the next three innings. C.B. Aycock suffered just its third defeat in 24 ECC regular-season outings since 2005.
"Things go in cycles, but our kids deserved it (today)," said Fulghum. "Aycock isn't a quitting team and you know they're going to come back."
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