Warriors rally again, reach third round
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 14, 2008 2:51 PM
Another three-run deficit erased.
Another playoff comeback complete.
Colton Fulghum's fourth-inning, go-ahead single catapulted state-ranked Eastern Wayne past West Craven 5-3 in their second-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A postseason contest Tuesday evening.
Ranked fifth in the latest ImpactBaseball.com poll, the Warriors (21-6 overall) entertain South Central on Friday. First pitch is 7 p.m. on the New Hope diamond.
"We found a way," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum. "I'm proud of our kids for battling. We made some good plays and we had some big hits up and down the lineup."
And once again, the Warriors started out slow.
The Eagles (14-9) manufactured three third-inning runs on four hits and a wild throw on a fielder's choice grounder. Brandon Donnell's bloop single in shallow right field accounted for West Craven's lone RBI during the short scoring spurt.
Eastern Wayne quickly answered.
Jeff Hill laced a lead-off double down the third-base line and Colton Fulghum legged out a perfect bunt single. Walker Gourley drove in Hill with a double to deep right center and West Craven conceded the second run on Nolan Lancaster's groundout.
"Whenever someone gets ahead on you like that, you always want to come back and strike ... get on the board somehow," said Gurley. "Coach always harps on never quitting. We've got a good team, we stick together and we never quit.
"We have faith in each other and know that if one doesn't do it, someone else will step up."
Tyler Wicks concluded the Warriors' third-inning uprising with a two-out single to left center field. Gurley trotted home for the 3-3 tie and Eastern Wayne's pitching staff did the rest.
Adron Hollowell, in his first-ever playoff start, threw a perfect fourth and permitted a lead-off walk in the fifth. John Wooten replaced Hollowell on the mound and grounded the Eagles' offense with three innings of no-hit, scoreless relief for his first-ever career playoff save.
Wooten retired the final five batters he faced, including four by strikeout.
"Adron gave us four strong (innings)," said coach Fulghum. "John looked the best tonight on the mound he's looked all year, I thought. He hit his spots tonight."
Eastern Wayne secured its second postseason victory in the fourth inning.
Hollowell smacked a lead-off single to shallow center field and was replaced at first base by courtesy runner Jose Ponce. Ponce advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Colton Fulghum's one-strike single to left field.
Fulghum finished the night 2-for-3 with an RBI.
"Colton got two big knocks," said Gurley.
Gurley chased Eagles' left-hander Alan Edwards with a two-out RBI double in the sixth inning. Gurley concluded the night with two hits and two RBI, while Wicks supplied two hits.
"The boys really wanted this one," said a smiling coach Fulghum.
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