03/21/08 — Saints use third-inning outburst to top Warriors

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Saints use third-inning outburst to top Warriors

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 21, 2008 1:49 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne capitalized on early-scoring opportunities and climbed into a three-way for the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference baseball lead Thursday afternoon.

The Saints doubled up Wilson Hunt 4-2 and joined county rivals Eastern Wayne and Charles B. Aycock atop the ECC leaderboard at 3-1. Southern Wayne won for the seventh time in nine outings this season and handed Hunt (6-3 overall) its second straight ECC setback.

Robert Herring started a three-run, second-inning uprising by drawing a one-out walk. Herring stole second and scored when the Warriors misplayed a pop-up in front of the plate.

Jordan Hood added an RBI double and crossed home on Ricky Oddon's base hit. The Saints left two runners stranded, but headed to the third inning with a 3-0 advantage.

"We were fortunate to get out to an early lead, and when you play the game the right way, good things happen for you," said Saints coach Trae McKee. "It was fortunate for us when that ball dropped in the infield and the first run scored to get us out in front."

Hunt did not surrender quietly, however.

Zach Lee moved into scoring position on a Saints error in the third. Blake Jones plated Lee with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

In the fifth inning, the Warriors added a second run -- and missed a chance to seize control of the game. Michael Douglass, who threw a complete game, wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam.

Hunt never threatened again.

Douglass allowed five hits and posted four strikeouts.

"Michael was really good tonight," said McKee. "He got out of some early trouble, and showed how good he can be when he has control of more than one pitch."

"That's part of maturing as a baseball player, being able to come out and make a pitch in a big situation. He had good life on his fastball and when he needed to he was able to locate it."

Southern Wayne tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning. Scott Holloman belted a one-out double and scored on Herring's single.

"Wilson Hunt is a very talented team, and we know that they are going to be in the mix as far as the conference standings," said McKee. "This was a big win for us, but at this point we have to play each game one at a time and not get caught looking ahead."

The Saints head to Shallotte today for a meeting against North Davidson in the Diamond Beach Invitational. Hunt returns to action Saturday against Greene Central in the second annual George Whitfield Invitational at Kinston.