03/25/09 — Sac fly caps So. Wayne rally

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Sac fly caps So. Wayne rally

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 25, 2009 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne needed some late-inning heroics -- in its final at-bat -- to upend Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Kinston 6-5 on Tuesday night.

Scott Holloman started the Saints' seventh inning by reaching on a Viking error. With one out, Kinston decided to intentionally walk Zach Grantham and Keenan Winn to load the bases and create a force play at every base.

The ploy backfired.

Cody Davis lofted a fly ball to deep center field and Holloman trotted home from third to cap the rally.

"I will take an ugly win over a pretty loss any time," said Saints head coach Trae McKee. "We did not have all nine guys focused and ready to play tonight, but we did enough to win."

The Vikings led 4-1, but a pair of defensive miscues kept the Saints close. Southern Wayne capitalized with four runs in the fifth inning.

Kevin Wise and Tyler Edwards reached on consecutive Viking errors, and Holloman drew an intentional walk to load the bases. Jordan Williams delivered by driving a two-run double into right field. Kinston's third miscue of the inning allowed Holloman to race home.

Winn scored Williams with a sacrifice fly to break a 4-4 tie.

The Vikings answered in the sixth inning when a Southern Wayne error allowed Anthony Clark to score from second on a shallow fly ball to short right field.

"I was really proud of hard my guys played tonight," said Kinston head coach Jason Wade. "We're a young team and we just haven't learned how to win these close games yet."

The Vikings played like a team with nothing to lose throughout the game. Four different Vikings combined to steal six bases, but the most exciting play of the night came in the top of the fifth when Cleveland Banks tried to steal home.

With two outs and two strikes on batter Reggie Santifer, Wade sent Banks racing toward the plate as Michael Douglas delivered a fastball. The pitch was high, but in time to get Banks out and end the inning.

"I felt like at that point we had an opportunity to score a run with one of our fastest guys at third," said Wade. "If it would have been an off-speed pitch I think Banks would have had a chance."

Blake Herring took the hard-luck loss on the mound for the Vikings (0-8 overall, 0-3 ECC). Herring pitched a complete game, allowed five hits and six runs but only one earned run.

Tyler Edwards recorded the final four outs to earn the win for the Saints. Edwards struck out three of the four batters he faced.

"We pitched it well enough to keep it close," said McKee. "In the end we still had to push a run across to get the win."

Southern Wayne (5-4 overall, 2-1 ECC) travels to Greene Central today.