04/27/08 — Eastern Wayne puts final touches on ECC 3-A crown

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Eastern Wayne puts final touches on ECC 3-A crown

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on April 27, 2008 2:03 AM

From staff reports

KINSTON -- During Jabo Fulghum's 16 seasons in New Hope, nine Eastern Wayne teams have been on the verge of winning conference championships in baseball, but each have had the door closed on them at the last moment.

This time, the Warriors blew the door wide open.

John Wooten doubled twice and finished with three hits as Eastern Wayne clinched the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title outright in a 17-2 throttling of Kinston. It was the program's first championship since 1989 when Gerald Whisenhunt guided the Warriors to a three-way with Wilmington powers Hoggard and Laney in the old Mideastern 4-A Conference.

"I was proud of our kids being focused and how could you not be with a conference championship on the line?" said Fulghum. "They responded well and it was a team effort."

Nolan Lancaster contributed three hits and two RBI in four at-bats. Jeff Hill, Walker Gourley, Cambric Moye (five RBI), Michael Mintz (four RBI) and Tyler Wicks (two RBI) recorded two hits apiece.

Colton Fulghum and Adron Hollowell each added one hit.

"We hit the ball hard each inning," said Fulghum. "The same pitcher that pitched against us here (at home), has given some people fits this season. He's tough.

"But he started getting his pitches up (in the zone) in the fourth."

The Warriors scored in every inning, but broke the game open with a 13-run outburst in the fourth and fifth innings combined. Cody Heath worked four-plus innings and permitted 10 runs (five earned) on 11 hits.

Hollowell claimed the mound win for Eastern Wayne. He gave up two earned runs on five hits and fanned two Viking batters. Lancaster provided one inning of no-hit, two-strikeout relief.

Eastern Wayne (17-5 overall, 9-1 ECC) earned the No. 1 seed for next week's conference tournament and the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs. The Warriors, winners of 12 consecutive games, will host a second-round tournament next week.

"We've crossed off one goal, but we've still got a lot of things to accomplish," said Fulghum.