04/17/10 — Eastern Wayne bests South Johnston

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Eastern Wayne bests South Johnston

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 17, 2010 11:16 PM

FOUR OAKS -- The early-inning offensive troubles didn't bother Eastern Wayne hurler Zach Beachem too much Friday evening.

The crafty left-hander stayed focused on the hill, kept the ball low in the strike zone and held South Johnston hitless through three innings.

Once his teammates discovered their offensive groove, the Warriors broke the game open during a two-inning stretch and emerged victorious 10-7 at Bruce Coats Field. Eastern Wayne (9-9 overall) improved to 5-1 in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play and remained one game behind league-leading Charles B. Aycock in the standings.

"This is the hardest conference we've played in in a long time," said Beachem. "This win, especially on the road, is so big. This keeps us with the chance of winning a conference championship.

"It was a great team effort, we worked hard and I'm glad we got a win."

Beachem (3-0) yielded six hits in 5 1/3 innings, and fanned five Trojan batters. He retired the first nine hitters he faced, including five groundouts to second baseman Wesley Stewart.

The Trojans struck out twice and flew out twice.

"I feel like I threw the ball really well tonight," said Beachem. "I spotted my fastball really well and worked my change-up really well, one of my favorite pitches to throw and it worked great tonight.

"I wanted to keep the ball down low."

While Beachem baffled South Johnston in the batter's box, the Warriors wrestled with their own problems during the early innings. Eastern Wayne stranded four men on base and went hitless in five tries with runners in scoring position.

Trojan right-hander Trey Thompson retired six consecutive batters and seven of eight overall before hitting the wall in the fifth inning.

Down 1-0, the Warriors took the lead for good on Cambric Moye's two-RBI double down the left-field line. The extra-base knock chased Thompson from the mound and reliever Tanner Adams got rocked in the sixth.

Eastern Wayne sent 12 men to the plate and scored eight runs (six earned) off seven hits. Jose Ponce delivered the killing blow, a three-RBI single with two outs.

Hunter Newsome, Greg Simms, Zack Mozingo, Moye and Robert Faucette also supplied RBI hits during that stretch. The Warriors led 10-1 at that point.

"Once we got some (runs across), it was a lot easier to go out there and throw," said Beachem. "I was totally grateful for them getting the runs and excited to get on the board to take the pressure off me."

South Johnston touched Beachem for fourth sixth-inning runs off three hits. Mozingo replaced Beachem and worked the final 1 2/3 innings to help the Warriors secure their fifth victory decided by three runs or less this season.

"A great pitching performance by Beachem, he pitched his heart out. Zack looked like his old self," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum. "We hit the baseball when we had to with runners in scoring position. We came out tonight with that look in our eyes and we had it (intensity) inside.

"Any time you get a conference road win it's big."