07/03/09 — Wayne County 10U All-Stars advance

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Wayne County 10U All-Stars advance

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 3, 2009 1:46 PM

GRANTHAM -- The 24-hour delay bothered Wayne County's coaches.

The players? Not so much.

Focused on the prize, short-handed Wayne County pounded out a 12-2, rain-suspended decision over Wilson County and claimed the Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth District 4 10-Under baseball championship on Thursday evening.

With the victory, Wayne County punched its ticket for the state tournament, which begins on July 9 in Sanford. The double-elimination tournament will be contested at Deep River Northview Optimist Park.

"I was worried the boys weren't going to be focused," said Wayne County coach Sal Raineri. "I've seen it happen in the past where teams came back (from a delay) and were cold. But they came back (today) and were hot, started strong and finished strong."

The teams endured a power outage and 30-minute rain delay, and completed 3 1/2 innings before heavy rain, gusty winds and damaging lightning suspended play late Wednesday evening. Wayne County went home with a 7-2 lead.

When action resumed on the Grantham Sports Complex diamond, Wayne County wasted little time padding its cushion. Cameron Kornegay ignited a two-out rally with a double into left center field and took third on a wild pitch.

Kornegay scored when the Wildcat defense misplayed Colby Spencer's sharply-hit grounder. Chris Hitch legged out an infield bunt, Casey Raineri drew a walk and Devonte Corum drove in Spencer with an infield single.

Holden Tyner capped the scoring with a two-RBI base knock.

"Knowing the score when we left (last night) ... was really tough for them to come back here and try to get into the groove of things," said Wilson County coach Joe Taylor. "(The delay) threw us out of rhythm. You have to stress keeping your head up because you're a human being and you're going to make mistakes. (You have) to focus on the next play no matter what happens on the previous play ... good or bad."

Kornegay, who batted 3-for-4, invoked the mercy rule with a walk-off, RBI groundout in the fifth inning. He was one of eight Wayne County batters to collect at least one hit in the winner-take-all affair.

Hitch, Spencer, Noah Daniels and Trey Jordan cranked out two hits apiece. Corum, Tyner and Sam Mott each provided one hit.

Kornegay, a right-hander, limited the Wildcats to four hits and logged four strikeouts in a four-inning stint on the hill. Jordan threw the final inning since Kornegay had exhausted the maximum number of innings (6) he could pitch in a two-day stretch.

Wayne County captured the district title minus two key players -- Zach Mott and Blair Smith. Mott sustained a severe left ankle injury before the championship game and Smith sustained four fractured cheekbones in a scrimmage.

"We showed a lot of heart," said coach Raineri. "We lost two kids to injuries and they all took up for them ... supported each other and basically didn't give up."