By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 7, 2009 1:46 PM
DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne pounded out 19 hits and took one step toward an Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament title with an opening-round, 13-8 victory over Kinston on Wednesday evening.
The fourth-seeded Saints travel to reigning league champion Eastern Wayne on Friday. First pitch is 7 p.m.
Southern Wayne (12-13 overall) fell behind early.
The Vikings' Anthony Clark led off with a single. Josh Lovick and Landon DeBruhl each collected a hit, and Sirtera Brewer provided a two-RBI base knock.
Kinston led 3-0.
The Saints came back.
Tyler Edwards singled, Zach Grantham delivered a base hit and Scott Holloman belted a two-run double. Two batters later, Keenan Winn tied the game with an RBI single.
"We came out swinging the bats tonight," said Saints head coach Trae McKee. "We did a good job of working the count and we were able to capitalize when we got guys in scoring position."
Kinston moved back in front 4-3, but Southern Wayne answered again.
Bruce Rose singled and advanced to second on Michael Douglas' fielder's choice. With two men out, Edwards homered to deep left field and plated Rose. Grantham singled, Holloman was hit by a pitch and Jordan Williams belted a three-run blast. Winn followed with the Saints' third home run of the inning, a solo shot to right field.
"That's not something that happens every day," said McKee. "We hit the ball hard throughout the early part of the game and those three home runs capped it."
The fifth-seeded Vikings drew within 9-5 in the third inning, but the Saints put the game out of reach during their next at-bat. Edwards and Grantham belted back-to-back doubles. Two batters later, Williams supplied a run-scoring single.
Winn capped the inning with an RBI hit.
The 12-5 cushion was more than enough for Saints starter Phil Howell and reliever Will Broadwell. Howell lasted 3 2/3 innings to earn the win and Broadwell followed with 3 1/3 innings of sterling work.
"I thought both guys did a nice job on the mound tonight," said McKee. "Phil got into some predictable counts and that hurt him, but Will cam e in and did a great job of staying ahead in the count."
McKee anxiously awaits a rematch with the top-seeded Warriors. Eastern Wayne (17-4 overall) escaped both times with late-inning rallies.
"We were one play away, one hit away," said McKee. "We aren't going to change anything. We just have to take care of the baseball and get the outs when they're available."
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