Rose's rescue: Hurler shuts down North Raleigh in fifth
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 2, 2008 1:50 PM
DUDLEY -- Serving as designated hitter most of this season, Jay Rose might have earned some quality pitching time Tuesday evening.
Working in relief, the smooth-as-silk southpaw saved Wayne County Post 11 in the fifth inning. Rose supplied two-plus innings of six-strikeout, scoreless relief in a 7-4 victory over North Raleigh Post 297 on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex diamond.
Rose became the sixth Post 11 pitcher to pick up a mound win this season.
"Jay called me last week after he hurt his knee to let me know how he was doing," said Wayne County coach Brad Reaves. "Then he said 'Coach, when am I going to get a start?' I told him it was coming, but I've got to catch his arm up with everybody else.
"He's getting close."
Trailing 4-3, North Raleigh threatened to take control in the fifth. Lead-off batter Akeem Hood drew a lead-off walk against Post 11 right-hander Alex Casey, who then hit Brennan Dorsett.
Two pitches later, Brian Young tied the game at 4-4 with an RBI single into shallow left field. That brought clean-up batter Johnathan Redd, who homered in the second inning, to the plate.
"I knew about four or five (innings) would be what Alex could give us," said Reaves. "I really got him (Rose) up a little bit late because I knew that left-hander (Redd) was coming up and I wanted that matchup, especially if they had a couple of people on (base)."
North Raleigh (7-10 overall) pulled off a double steal, but Rose retired Redd on three consecutive pitches. Rose caught Bo Brantt looking at a third strike to end the inning.
Post 297 drew two walks in the sixth, but Rose logged a strikeout and inning-ending pop-up. Despite giving up a two-strike double to Young in the seventh, Rose struck out the side to end the game.
"Jay had pretty good stuff tonight, I thought," said Reaves. "He's just comes up big for you ... is a game. He's got a little comfort zone he needs to be in to play well and you starting to see it now at batting practice.
"He's challenging for time in the infield."
Wayne County (12-3) hardly challenged Post 297 right-hander Sam Fulmer during the first three innings. Just three runners reached base and two were stranded.
Bryant Hill supplied the lone run that started with his infield single. He moved to second on Tyler Edwards' groundout and coerced North Raleigh into a scoring error to forge a 1-1 tie after Redd's second-inning homer.
North Raleigh moved back in front 3-1 in the fourth before Post 11 staged its second comeback of the night. Cambric Moye and Nolan Lancaster drew back-to-back walks with two outs and both scored on Adron Hollowell's two-strike single into the left center-field gap.
Hollowell advanced to third on a passed ball and trotted home when Hill (2-for-2) legged out an infield single.
"I felt like we had a group of cadavers out there," said Reaves. "We just kind of went through the motions. They know it's not (a) conference (game), but you've still got to come out ready to play.
"It was a hum-drum game."
Knotted at 4-4, Post 11 took the lead for good in the fifth. Thomas Pilkington stroked a two-strike, two-out double into the left center-field gap to score John Wooten, who reached on a fielder's choice.
It was Pilkington's 10th RBI of the season.
"I think Thomas is just finally becoming the type of hitter we thought Thomas was going to be from the time he started playing with us," said Reaves.
Wooten's two-RBI, two-out single accounted for Post 11's final two runs in the sixth inning.
Wayne County continues non-division play today at long-time nemesis Garner. Post 11 entertains Durham on Thursday and concludes its regular-season home schedule Saturday against Clayton.
All three games begin at 7 p.m.
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