05/02/08 — Eastern Wayne offense too much for So. Wayne

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Eastern Wayne offense too much for So. Wayne

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 2, 2008 1:48 PM

Eastern Wayne came out swinging Thursday evening.

The Warriors crushed two home runs and finished with five extra-base hits in a 10-0, 41/2-inning rout of county rival Southern Wayne.

"We hit the ball tonight up and down the lineup," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum. "John Wooten really mashed the ball, but it was a complete team performance."

Seeded No. 1 in the season-ending Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament, Eastern Wayne (19-5 overall) built a five-run lead in the first inning.

Walker Gourley stroked a lead-off double and Nolan Lancaster followed by a base knock. Three pitches later, John Wooten smacked a Michael Douglas offering over the right center-field fence.

With one out, Douglas plunked catcher Cambric Moye. Jose Ponce delivered an RBI single and capped the uprising when he crossed home on a wild pitch.

"Their one through three hitters are the best group I've seen in a long time," said Saints head coach Trae McKee. "And the four through six guys aren't bad, either. When you get pitches up in the strike zone they can make you pay in a hurry, and they did tonight."

The Warriors, winners of 14 consecutive games, added two second-inning runs. Gourley drew a lead-off walk and scored on Tyler Wicks' two-out home run. Douglas retired from the mound at that point and reliever Raymond Valazquez took over for the fourth-seeded Saints.

Lancaster started the Warriors' fourth with a double and scored on Wooten's double. After wild pitch, Wicks drove home Wooten with a sacrifice fly.

Southern Wayne (13-11) attempted a fifth-inning rally. Warrior right-hander Michael Mintz coerced Scott Holloman into a game-ending fly out with two runners on base. Mintz finished with a two-hit, eight-strikeout decision on the mound.

"I think this was the best all-around game that we have played this season," said Fulghum. "Our defense was solid. Mintz battled the whole game and we drove in runs when we got guys on base."

The Warriors entertain defending ECC tournament champion Charles B. Aycock on Monday. First pitch is 7 p.m. Eastern Wayne swept the regular-season series.

"We played a good game, but we can't be satisfied with what we have done so far," said Fulghum. "We have to stay focused and come ready to play Monday."