Another heart stopper: Different heroes spark 7th-inning rally
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 29, 2009 1:46 PM
A different night, a different hero.
Jose Ponce's walk-off RBI double scored Robert Faucette and capped Eastern Wayne's two-out rally in a 6-5 comeback win over Northern Nash on Thursday night. The Warriors claimed their fourth straight come-from-behind victory and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern regional championship series.
The teams continue play tonight at Northern Nash. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Death Valley.
Eastern Wayne (24-4 overall) remained unbeaten at home this season and hasn't lost since dropping a one-run decision to county rival Charles B. Aycock on April 28.
The Knights, the NEW 6 Conference co-champions, led 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Colton Fulghum drew a lead-off walk, but was erased at second base when John Wooten hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Warriors catcher Cambric Moye knotted the contest at 5-5 with a solo home run to center field off Northern Nash reliever Mike Williams.
"Up until that last at-bat I wasn't having a very good night," said Moye. "Catching, I wasn't really blocking balls and I wasn't doing good at the plate. I tried to clear my mind that last at-bat, and square one up good and keep us alive.
"I got a hanging curveball and I just tried to react. It was a big relief because I knew we were going to get it done."
Faucette followed Moye with a double into the right center-field gap. Ponce delivered the game-winner that sent his teammates storming out of the dugout to celebrate. Ponce finished 3-for-4 with an RBI.
"Coach (Jabo) Fulghum told us earlier today that me, Cambric and Robert had to step it up," said Ponce. "That's what we did. Each one of us stepped it up. I believe in my team, we always come back. It all plays off of hard work that we do during practice.
"We always believe in each other and that's what keeps us close."
Wooten's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth pulled Eastern Wayne to within 5-4. The home run was Wooten's 16th of the year and sixth of the postseason.
"John made an adjustment," said coach Fulghum. "That grand slam John hit was big. That gave us an opportunity to get back into the game."
Northern Nash pushed across five unearned runs in the top of the fourth on four Warrior errors and a pair of wild pitches.
"We made it hard on ourselves," said Fulghum. "Those were routine plays and we looked like we were playing out of desperation in that one inning."
Josh Frederick tossed a complete game and earned the win on the mound.
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