Frederick, Mozingo, Wooten and Moye cornerstones to Eastern Wayne's success
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 3, 2009 2:04 PM
Eastern Wayne has won plenty of ballgames this season with its offense.
If it's going to win a state championship it will be on the heels of its pitching.
The Warriors have relied on just three arms this postseason with Josh Frederick and Zack Mozingo alternating between starts on the mound. Hard-throwing senior John Wooten has been a mainstay out of the bullpen, and has registered five wins on the mound since the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament began.
Frederick, a junior left-hander, missed two-thirds of last season with a hand injury and has returned to the mound to compile an 8-0 record with a 2.04 ERA. In 682/3 innings, Frederick has recorded 84 strikeouts.
In Eastern Wayne's season opener against West Rowan, Frederick tossed six shutout innings and allowed just two hits. He tallied six strikeouts and allowed just one walk.
"That was huge," said Frederick. "It got my confidence way up just to know that I can do it. If I can do it against a team that was ranked in the state, I can do it against anybody."
Known for using pitch location and movement more than speed to record outs, Frederick has utilized his fastball to get ahead of hitters while relying on off-speed stuff to finish them off. A split-finger changeup and a consistent curveball have been the keys to his success.
Despite being a freshman, Mozingo has displayed poise as the stage continues to get larger in the midst of his young baseball career. After beginning the season on the junior varsity squad, the right-hander made his first varsity start on April 23 against Wilson Beddingfield. He allowed one earned run on two hits with six strikeouts and a walk in four innings of work.
The stakes got higher for Mozingo on May 12 when he was called on to start against Charles B. Aycock in the finals of the ECC tournament. Mozingo responded by allowing just two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in 42/3 innings.
"I was kind of nervous pitching against Aycock," said Mozingo. "After pitching in that game I had more confidence in myself to do good because I knew I could do good against good teams."
If his previous performances didn't put any doubters to rest, Mozingo's three-hit gem in game two of the eastern regional finals against Northern Nash certainly got the point across. Mozingo pitched a complete-game three-hitter and allowed one unearned run while striking out five. Mozingo has a 4-1 record and has recorded 35 strikeouts in 33 innings of work.
Wooten has embraced the closer's role and seems to thrive in pressure situations. Whether he's called upon to retire an opponent's leading hitter, work just one inning or bail a starting pitcher out of a jam early in the ballgame, Wooten has been successful. The East Carolina signee is 8-1 with four saves and a 2.02 ERA. He's registered 49 strikeouts in 412/3 innings of work.
"You just have to go in thinking, 'I can't let them score,'" said Wooten. "Whether you have to get a strikeout with somebody on base or just pound the strike zone and keep the ball down, you have to do what you've got to do.
"I just like the pressure. I live off that stuff. If it's going to be on anybody's shoulders to make something happen I want it to be me."
The cornerstone to Eastern Wayne's pitching staff has been junior catcher Cambric Moye. Moye has helped a youth-laden group remain calm in key moments while understanding each pitcher's individual strengths and weaknesses.
"Mozingo, I go to the mound and calm him down sometimes," said Moye. "John, he really does his own thing and Frederick, too. I can just see in each of their faces when they're on and off, and when they have confidence in what they're throwing."
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