Spring Creek-Wayne South
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 22, 2010 1:46 PM
DUDLEY -- The sinking feeling in Hunter Barnett's stomach didn't last very long Monday evening.
Barnett served up a game-tying, solo home run to Taylor Brock in the bottom of the seventh inning. His Spring Creek teammates answered right back.
The Gators scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning and defeated Wayne County South 10-7 in a Junior American Legion baseball game at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.
Shut out and held to just two hits over the first five innings, Spring Creek scored 10 runs on eight hits over the final three innings.
Corey Howell reached on an error to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Austin Hinton followed with a bunt single and Barnett's groundout put runners on the corners with one out. Chris Boseman reached on a fielder's choice that scored Howell and Zack Harrell added a two-run double to give the Gators a 10-7 lead.
"We couldn't hit our way out of a wet paper bag in the first few innings," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "We finally started staying back that one inning and hit some balls to right field and found some gaps out there. We got some runners on and found some gaps.
"I can't say enough about these kids and how hard they battled. They don't quit."
Barnett struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth and earned the win on the mound. The left-hander struck out the final five batters he faced.
"Hunter, I think he was real disappointed out there on the mound after the home run," said Whitfield. "But, he sucked it up and did what he needed to do. He found a way against a good ball club."
The Gators trailed 6-3 in the top of the seventh, but used two walks and Barnett's single to load the bases with one out. Hinton scored on Wayne South reliever Jeremy Taylor's wild pitch. Harrell's bloop RBI single and an error that allowed Hinton and Boseman to score gave Spring Creek a 7-6 advantage.
Wayne South was plagued by four errors. Its three pitchers combined to issue six walks, and it had a runner thrown out at home to end both the first and fourth innings. Jamar Holmes was the hard-luck loser, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with one strikeout and a walk.
"We've just got to take care of the baseball," said Wayne South head coach Trae McKee. "We have a 6-3 lead in the seventh, and walk three and give up a hit with an 0-2 count. You can't do those things and expect them not to come back.
"We've got to pitch it better. Spring Creek wanted to win a whole lot more than we did tonight."
Duane Gurganus' RBI single in the top of the sixth tied the game at 1-1. Harrell and Chris Nichols both delivered RBI singles that gave the Gators a 3-1 lead. Harrell (4 RBI) and Barnett each finished with three hits.
Taylor Gainey's three-run homer in the home half of the sixth off Gurganus put Wayne South back in front 4-3. Will Raynor's RBI double pushed the lead to 5-3. Taylor Gainey (3 RBI), Tyler Gainey and Raynor (RBI) each collected two hits.
Wayne South (11-4 overall) entertains Snow Hill today, while Spring Creek (4-3) plays host to Charles B. Aycock on Wednesday.