Youth movement continues for Post 11
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 3, 2009 2:04 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The young'uns are growing up, ma.
Three first-year starters combined for eight hits and three RBI as Wayne County Post 11 turned back Kinston 8-6 in an Area I East South Division contest Tuesday evening.
Post 11 avenged a division-opening loss to Kinston just four days ago and dealt Post 43 its first setback in four outings this season. The teams exited Scarborough Field with identical 1-1 worksheets in division play.
"My babies are growing up ... getting better," said Post 11 head coach Brad Reaves. "We had some much better plate appearances (tonight)."
Outfielder Keenan Winn, a rising sophomore at Southern Wayne, supplied a critical two-strike, two-RBI single in the fifth. Kevin Wise, another Southern Wayne standout, contributed two hits in three at-bats.
Catcher Nick McGee swatted a fifth-inning double, executed a key sacrifice bunt and finished the night 2-for-3. Winn, Wise and McGee accounted for half of Wayne County's season-high, 16-hit output.
"We ran the bases well tonight, too, for the most part," said Reaves, whose team swiped four bases. "We got some things done, got some hit-and-runs down. I'm very pleased to do that when you have three freshmen in the lineup.
"I'll take that."
Wayne County put runners aboard in every inning against Kinston right-handers Kaleb Wessell and Jasper Jones. Wessell yielded six runs (five earned) on 10 hits. Jones, who has signed with N.C. Central, permitted two earned runs on six hits in a three-inning stint.
Post 11 lead-off batter Tyler Edwards emerged the top offensive performer with four hits, including a double. Scott Holloman batted 3-for-5 with an RBI, while first-year center fielder Cody Richards pounded out three hits and an RBI.
Wayne County (2-1, 1-1 South) built a 6-1 advantage through five innings. Kinston aided Post 11's early-game offensive surge with three defensive miscues. Richards, Wise, Winn and Holloman manufactured runs with timely hits for the victors.
Kinston (3-1, 1-1) climbed within 6-3 in the sixth inning. Post 11 starter Taylor Allen loaded the bases and gave up a one-out, RBI single to Carter Capps. Allen had retired seven consecutive batters and benefited from a fifth-inning double play, one of three turned by Wayne County on the night.
"In the back of my mind, I was hoping for four (innings) because I knew Taylor hadn't been on the mound since October," said Reaves. "His pitch count was fairly low and I asked him if he was OK. He just ran into a wall in the sixth.
"He'll get much stronger as it (season) goes."
Jesse Randolph finished the sixth and worked into the seventh before giving way to Matt Neal. The Rosewood hurler tossed the final two-plus innings and wiggled out of seventh-inning trouble with a double-play grounder.
"We're not going to strike a lot of people out, so we need to let them it and that's what they did," said Reaves. "We had a couple of big double plays."
McGee's sac helped ignite a two-run, seventh-inning rally which produced the game-winning run on Winn's RBI groundout. Richards scampered home on an infield error to cap Post 11's scoring.
Kinston scored three runs in the ninth before Neal recorded a game-ending strikeout.
"This one was huge because if we had lost tonight, that would have really dug us a hole," said Reaves. "I don't think it was a do-or-die (game) and you want to win them all, but that's not going to happen in this division.
"We're just tickled with them right now. We're piece-mealing it together and hurry up, and waiting."
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