Post 11 seizes 2-0 lead in semifinal-round series
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on July 17, 2008 1:20 PM
GREENVILLE -- Wayne County Post 11 escaped ninth-inning trouble and captured an 8-5 decision over Pitt County Post 39 on Wednesday evening.
With the victory, Post 11 seized a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five, semifinal-round series in the Area I East Division playoffs. Wayne County (18-4 overall) goes for the series sweep at home tonight. Game time is 7 p.m. at Mount Olive College.
Post 11 owned an 8-2 advantage in the ninth and Jesse Randolph was making his second consecutive relief appearance. The right-hander rescued starter Adron Hollowell from a sixth-inning jam, and logged a perfect seventh and eighth innings.
Randolph worked to a 1-2 count against Tanner Merritt, but wound up surrendering a walk. After a strikeout, he yielded back-to-back singles to Josh Hudson and Michael Spruill.
An outfield error on Clark Massey's single enabled Post 39 to climb within 8-5. Once the play concluded, Massey was at third with the tying run in the on-deck circle.
Post 11 manager Brad Reaves pulled Randolph and relied on veteran Jay Rose to silence Pitt County's comeback. Rose fooled Andrew Cain with two breaking pitches and notched the strikeout on a fastball.
Rose walked the next batter, but induced Chase Hardee into a game-ending groundout for his first save of the season. Wayne County claimed its 12th straight playoff victory against an Area I East opponent since 2007.
Hollowell threw 101 pitches and finished with eight strikeouts in five-plus innings. Randolph tossed 49 pitches in 31/3 innings of work.
Tied at 2-2 after three innings, Wayne County erupted for five runs in the fourth inning. Cambric Moye and Nolan Lancaster walked, and Bryant Hill loaded the bases when Post 39 misplayed his bunt attempt.
Alex Casey's fielder's choice groundout plated one run and Tyler Edwards' hit-and-run single kept the rally intact. Walker Gourley executed the hit-and-run and John Wooten collected the inning's fourth run on an RBI groundout.
Wooten batted 2-for-4 with two RBI and is 6-for-8 in the series.
Post 11's aggressive posture on the bases paid dividends in the sixth inning. Hill reached on an error and Edwards was safe when Post 39 bobbled yet another routine ground ball.
Hill and Edwards advanced on a double steal and Gourley (1-for-5) drilled a two-strike grounder to second for his second RBI of the night. Wayne County finished the game with a season-high nine stolen bases.
Post 11 led 8-2 after 51/2 innings.
Wayne County cranked out nine hits, including two each from Edwards and Thomas Pilkington. Edwards, Gourley and Pilkington rebounded from hitless performances in Tuesday's series opener at Scarborough Field.
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