05/29/09 — Wayne County eases past Apex, 5-2

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Wayne County eases past Apex, 5-2

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 29, 2009 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11 opened its 2009 Senior American Legion baseball season with a solid 5-2 victory over Apex Post 124 on Thursday night at Scarborough Field.

The game featured appearances by 32 different players as both coaches tried to get a feel for their respective squads.

"Anytime you come to the ball park and get a win its a good night," said Post 11 head coach Brad Reaves. "We started three freshman and one sophomore, so I was happy to get a win. At this point in the season we will take them any way we can get them."

Still undecided on a permanent roster and short-handed due to Eastern Wayne's playoff run, Reaves shuffled his lineup. The adjustment was evident early in the nine-inning affair.

Post 124 jumped on top in the first inning when Lee Blalock reached on an error and eventually scored on Trevor McKernie's sacrifice fly.

"We had one position player (Tyler Edwards) who has significant Legion experience on the field," said Reaves. "Some of the young guys had to learn by jumping into live action."

The score remained 1-0 until the sixth inning.

Wayne County's Zack Grantham led off with a single and moved into scoring position when Cody Richards was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt. One out later, Duane Gurganus plated the tying run with a looping line drive that was misplayed at second base.

Cody Davis drove in a second run with an RBI single and Edwards reached on a fielder's choice. Matt Neal capped the four-run outburst with a single that plated Davis and Edwards.

"We didn't hit the ball a lot tonight, but we got the hits when we needed them," said Reaves. "We hit a couple balls hard in the late innings and were able to manufacture enough runs to win."

Post 11 added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Gurganus drew a walk and scored when Neal bounced a ball up the middle that was overthrown at first base.

Relief pitcher Jesse Randolph preserved the lead the final two innings and earned the save. Former Rosewood standout Taylor Allen claimed the mound win.

"I thought the pitching tonight was the biggest reason why we won this game," said Reaves. "Our first three guys did a nice job keeping the hitters off balance and Jesse gave us three innings so he could work some things out."

Wayne County (1-0 overall) begins defense of its Area I East title Saturday at Kinston. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Viking Stadium.