04/02/10 — Warriors, Saints stage offensive show in ECC play

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Warriors, Saints stage offensive show in ECC play

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 2, 2010 1:46 PM

Coming off lackluster performances in their respective previous outings, county baseball rivals Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne staged an offensive show Thursday evening.

Boy, talk about your fireworks.

The teams combined for six home runs, including four solo shots, and a whopping 32 hits. Sixteen of 18 players tallied one or more hits in the three-hour, eight-minute marathon.

Once the final run scored to end the mercy-rule contest, the Warriors staggered home with a 19-9, Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference victory.

"It was a slugfest," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum. "We hit the ball well with two strikes tonight, and they hit the ball well, too. At one time I didn't think it was going to end."

No kidding.

The teams took 96 minutes to complete the first two innings.

Eastern Wayne (5-7 overall, 3-1 ECC) sent 19 batters to the plate, and posted nine runs on eight hits. Robert Faucette ripped a monster grand slam off starter Will Broadwell, giving him his second round-tripper in as many games.

Southern Wayne (6-6, 1-3) collected eight runs on six hits, including RBI singles from Kevin Wise and a two-run blast from junior third baseman Zach Grantham. Wise and Grantham, who drilled a solo homer in the seventh, combined for five of the Saints' 11 hits on the night.

"I thought we hit it enough to win, swung the bats well," said Saints head coach Trae McKee.

Each team needed relief after the early-inning onslaught.

Warrior hurler Logan Wicks held the Saints scoreless for 3 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking one. The right-hander permitted six base runners, but stranded two with an inning-ending groundout in the third and picked off another in the fifth inning.

McKee's team went down 1-2-3 in the fourth.

"The turning point was punchout, punchout, ground ball (in the fourth)," said McKee. "We took the pressure back off of them."

Southern Wayne relievers Will Raynor, Wise and Tyler Gainey each got trapped in predictable counts during their mound appearances. The trio surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) on 14 hits, and collected just four strikeouts.

"We weren't able to throw offspeed (stuff) for a strike and they were sitting on fastballs," said McKee. "We all know they're a good-hitting club and I think we're a good-hitting club. We've just got to find a way to pitch a little bit better."

Beachem (2-for-3, 2 RBI) went yard during back-to-back at-bats in the second and third innings, and has four home runs for the season. Ponce (3-for-5, RBI) swatted a two-strike offering over the center field fence in the third.

The Warriors have nine homers as a team.

Faucette (5 RBI), Newsome (two doubles), Zack Mozingo (3 RBI) and Logan Wicks finished with three hits apiece. Colton Fulghum and Cambric Moye each added two hits.

"I was proud of the kids from coming back from a tough loss on Tuesday," said coach Fulghum of the one-run defeat at Aycock. "We've got nine seniors who are hungry. You have to play one day at a time ... not overlook one soul in this conference.

"Everybody is tough, can beat anybody on any given night."