05/13/09 — Warriors end county rival's three-year reign

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Warriors end county rival's three-year reign

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 13, 2009 1:47 PM

Eastern Wayne's offense squandered scoring opportunities for five innings, which kept a glaring zero illuminated on the scoreboard.

One swing of the bat changed the Warriors' fortune.

Walker Gourley's towering three-run homer erased the goose egg and changed the game's momentum in a 4-2 victory over county archrival Charles B. Aycock on Tuesday evening. Eastern Wayne captured its first-ever Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball tournament crown and ended the Golden Falcons' reign as three-time defending champions.

The Warriors (19-4 overall) left eight runners on base through the first five innings and trailed 2-0 before its sixth-inning rally.

Zach Beachem drew a walk and Josh Frederick reached on an error. Gourley drove a 2-1 pitch from Aycock reliever Bryant Stafford deep into the night to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead they never relinquished.

"We had left a lot of runners on base and we were just fortunate to be in that situation," said Gourley. "Everybody in that dugout is capable of doing that. Give credit to Stafford. He's a good pitcher. I just got a change-up up in the zone and I squared it up good."

John Wooten later reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Connor Narron's error to cap the four-run outburst.

Aycock (18-6) threatened in the seventh, but Wooten induced a game-ending groundout from Jonathan Taylor. Wooten threw two-plus innings of scoreless relief and fanned four Golden Falcons to earn the win.

Freshman Zack Mozingo tossed 4 2/3 innings for the Warriors, and left with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning. Mozingo allowed two earned runs on four hits, struck out four Aycock hitters and allowed three walks in the no-decision.

"It was Zack's turn to start," said Warriors coach Jabo Fulghum. "It was Mo's turn to pitch and he's been throwing strikes, and mixing it up and that's what we've been looking for. That double play in the first inning really helped us and he pitched extremely well."

Narron's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth scored Tyler Farmer and Will Edgerton to give Aycock a 2-0 lead. The Golden Falcons left six of their eight runners on base in the fourth through seventh innings.

"I thought we lost it in the early innings when we failed to capitalize on the bases loaded with one out situation," said C.B. Aycock head coach Charles Davis. "We left way too many opportunities early. You've got to do the fundamental things and we failed to do that tonight."

Davis called upon five different arms to try and keep the Eastern Wayne bats in check and couldn't complain with the results he received. Starter Jimmy Kearney combined with Derek Limbaugh, Erik DuBose, Stafford and Adron Hollowell to allow four runs on just five hits.

"I'm tickled to death with our pitching," said Davis. "To give up four runs against Eastern Wayne, I couldn't ask any more from my pitching. I would expect with the hitters we've got to put more than two runs on the board."

Tyler Ruffin, Narron and Hollowell each had two hits for the Golden Falcons. Gourley, Wooten, Cambric Moye, Mozingo and Frederick all collected a hit apiece for the Warriors.