06/26/08 — Post 11 dominates Apex 13-3

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Post 11 dominates Apex 13-3

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 26, 2008 1:50 PM

DUDLEY -- A lopsided victory over an undermanned opponent could cause concern with a key division contest on the horizon.

Brad Reaves hopes it's a good omen.

Wayne County Post 11 pounded out 11 hits and claimed a 13-3 decision against Apex Post 124 on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex baseball diamond Wednesday evening. The seven-inning game ended in the fifth when Thomas Pilkington's two-RBI double induced the 10-run mercy rule.

"We're starting to figure out things a little bit," said Reaves, now in his sixth season as Post 11 coach.

Reaves also found another pitcher.

Right-hander Alex Casey, in his first start, overcame a shaky first inning and limited Apex to five hits. Post 124 made the trip without several starters, which forced a significant shift in its lineup.

The Spring Creek product retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced and benefited from two Post 11 double plays.

"I didn't know much about Alex's arm because I hadn't seen him pitch during high school," said Reaves. "But Coach (Doyle) Whitfield said he threw several games and was very high on him. Once Alex started locating his pitches and got down in the zone, he started getting ground balls."

Casey retired Post 124 in order in the third and fifth innings. He threw just nine first-pitch strikes to the 20 batters he faced, and ended up throwing 58 pitches overall.

Apex grabbed a 3-0, first-inning lead on Aaron Prince's two-out home run and Evan Oliver's RBI single. Casey allowed just two base runners from that point and each was erased on a double play.

Wayne County (8-3 overall) quickly answered in its initial at-bat.

Tyler Edwards drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on Walker Gourley's single. Edwards stole third and scored on a wild pitch, while Gourley trotted home on Zach Wright's RBI groundout to second base.

Thomas Pilkington, who walked, scampered home on Cambric Moye's bloop single to shallow right field.

"I think coming back and tying the game helped Alex," said Reaves.

It certainly helped Post 11's confidence and shattered Post 124's already-depleted pitching staff. Wayne County parlayed four walks, three errors, three stolen bases, two hits, a passed ball and a wild pitch into a six-run, second-inning rally.

Apex starter Drew Schultz departed the mound after issuing his second walk of the inning and reliever Daran Long failed to record an out against four batters. Second baseman Leslie Blalock took over the pitching duties and exited after the fourth inning.

Wayne County scored twice in the third inning and twice in the fifth inning to invoke the 10-run rule. Gourley, Moye, John Wooten and newcomer Matt Hunichen collected two hits apiece. Edwards, Pilkington and Bryant Hill each contributed one hit.

Post 11 returns to action at home tonight against Pitt County Post 39.

"They embarrassed us over at their place the last time we played," said Reaves. "No matter when you play Pitt County, it's always going to be a good game."

First pitch is 7 p.m.