04/23/08 — Hunt nips Southern Wayne

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Hunt nips Southern Wayne

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 23, 2008 2:54 PM

WILSON -- Southern Wayne missed a chance to grab sole possession of third place in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference baseball action Tuesday evening.

Hunt is grateful it didn't happen.

The Warriors benefited from Saints miscues and got a solid relief effort from Sam Strickland in a come-from-behind, 5-4 victory. Each team is 5-4 against ECC opposition with the regular season scheduled to end Friday.

Southern Wayne's troubles started in the first inning.

Hunt pitcher Justin Nygard picked off a runner at second and catcher Chris Lamm threw out a runner attempting to steal second base.

"We were in a good situation early, and we felt like we had to make something happen to get early runs in," said Saints head coach Trae McKee. "We just had a couple of guys get caught with their heads down."

The Saints' defense obliged the Warriors' cause in the home half of the first inning. Two errors, a hit batsman and single parlayed into two runs as Hunt moved in front 2-0.

Southern Wayne answered in the third.

Mathew Holmes reached base on a two-out error, and advanced to third on back-to-back singles by Tyler Edwards and Jordan Williams. Scott Holloman supplied a two-RBI hit and two batters later, Robert Herring delivered the go-ahead, RBI single.

"The guys in the middle of our order really got us going tonight," said McKee. "Those guys were on base all game. We just didn't get them in."

Edwards' single and an error chased Nygard off the mound in the fourth. With two runners aboard, Warriors reliever Sam Strickland wiggled out of trouble with ground-ball outs.

Hunt retook the lead in the sixth.

Lamm drew a lead-off walk against Saints hurler Michael Douglas and moved to third on Jake Strickland's double. Two batters later, Sam Strickland ripped a two-RBI single to left field. Strickland stole second and scored on a wild pitch for the 5-3 advantage.

"Michael did a great job tonight," said McKee. "He didn't give up a hard-hit ball until the sixth inning, and he mixed up his fastball and his off-speed stuff very well."

The Saints (12-8 overall) rallied in their final at-bat.

Williams led off with his third hit of the game, and eventually scored when Douglas reached on an error. The comeback attempt never materialized however, as Sam Strickland coaxed Southern Wayne into back-to-back groundouts to end the game.