OPINION - Looking back at Warriors ride
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 4, 2009 1:46 PM
The record speaks volumes to the effort, while the memories add meaning to the accomplishment.
Eastern Wayne finished an unprecedented 18-0 at home this season and creating several memorable moments along the way.
Here's a look at some of the Warriors' notable home wins:
March 18: Eastern Wayne rallies for three fifth-inning runs to defeat Southern Wayne 3-2 in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference opener for both teams. Robert Faucette's solo homer capped the Warriors' comeback. John Wooten tossed two scoreless innings to earn the save.
March 31: Junior left-hander Josh Frederick threw five shutout innings and recorded seven strikeouts in a 6-0 win over C.B. Aycock. Frederick combined with Wooten to hold Golden Falcons' batters to just two hits in 23 at-bats with 10 strikeouts.
Wooten and Jose Ponce each hit solo home runs for Eastern Wayne.
May 8: Robert Faucette's solo homer and Hunter Newsome's sacrifice fly broke a 3-3 tie with Southern Wayne in the bottom of the sixth in the semifinals of the ECC tournament. Wooten relieved Frederick in the top of the sixth inning and worked his way out of trouble with two runners on base.
May 12: Walker Gourley's towering three-run home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning capped a four-run rally in a 4-2 win over C.B. Aycock in the ECC tournament championship game.
Eastern Wayne had left eight runners on base through five innings before it mounted a comeback to earn the first conference tournament title in program history.
May 18: Trailing West Carteret 3-2 through 4 1/2 innings during the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, the Warriors refused to quit.
Frederick's lead-off single and walks to Colton Fulghum and Wooten loaded the bases in the fifth inning. Faucette's two-out infield single scored Frederick and tied the game at 3-3. Jose Ponce delivered an RBI single that scored Fulghum and put Eastern Wayne in front 4-3.
Wooten tacked on a sac fly in the bottom of the sixth and tossed four innings of relief to earn the win on the mound.
May 22: Gourley's walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Warriors' to a 4-3 victory over South Central in the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs. The win avenged a 10-inning loss to the Falcons on the same field in the same round a year ago.
Wooten threw four scoreless innings of relief and collected two hits including a solo homer.
May 26: Wooten hit two three-run homers as the "Cardiac Kids" orchestrated another comeback in a 6-4 win over West Brunswick in the eastern semifinals. Wooten provided five innings of relief and earned his third consecutive win on the mound.
May 28: Down to its final out Eastern Wayne displayed the "Elmer's Glue" mentality that has held it together all season long. Cambric Moye's two-out solo homer tied game one of the eastern regional finals with Northern Nash at 5-5. Faucette followed with a double and Ponce's walk-off RBI double capped the dramatic finish.
The Knights led 5-0 before Wooten's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth trimmed the margin to 5-4. Frederick tossed a complete game to earn the win on the mound.
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