By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 24, 2010 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- One strike away from a mercy rule decision, Wayne County Post 11 permitted South Division rival Kinston Post 43 to hang around for six extra outs on a muggy Wednesday evening.
Post 43 turned an inning-ending double play in the seventh and used three errors as the springboard to a four-run, eighth-inning uprising. But Adron Hollowell put his finger ... well ... his glove into the dike and Post 11 prevailed 12-7 on the Scarborough Field diamond.
Hollowell provided 12/3 innings of one-hit, one-strikeout relief as Wayne County (10-5 overall) triumphed for the third time in its last four outings.
"We let them back in the game," said Post 11 coach Rob Watt. "We had a hard time with (pitching) command late, gave them some base runners. Obviously, the infield wasn't great and the ball stayed down on some infielders.
"But, it's a positive outing."
An early-evening thunderstorm nearly rendered the field unplayable. Watt, assistant coaches Jackson Massey and Jason Sherrer, and several players worked diligently for over an hour to spruce up the rain-soaked infield.
After an 82-minute delay, Kinston (7-3, 2-1 South) immediately put pressure on Post 11 southpaw Eric DuBose. The Southeastern Community College signee faced seven batters, put four aboard, allowed one run and escaped further damage with an inning-ending, bases-loaded groundout.
The 1-0 deficit lasted for 11/2 innings.
Zack Mozingo, serving as the designated hitter, deposited a one-strike fastball over the right field fence in the second inning. It was Mozingo's first-ever homer in his Legion career and just the seventh overall for Post 11 this season.
"That changed the complexion of the game," said Watt.
Wayne County (3-3 South) manufactured three third-inning runs off Zack Chase's single and back-to-back RBI sacrifice flyouts from Tyler Edwards and Mozingo. Post 11 collected an additional three runs in the fourth on Chase's two-RBI single and a Post 43 error.
DuBose (2-1) retired 10 of 12 batters through three-plus innings. He dodged another bases-loaded jam with an inning-ending strikeout in the fifth inning.
Kinston pulled within 7-3 in the sixth and chased DuBose, who was relieved by Will Broadwell. The Southern Wayne standout induced a timely 6-4-3, double-play grounder that kept Post 43 from doing any further damage.
"Eric gave us a good outing and chance to win from the get-go," said Watt. "
Post 11 nearly invoked the mercy rule in the seventh.
Mozingo got plunked by Post 43 reliever Landon DeBruhl and Nicholas McGee launched a high fly ball into shallow right field. Kinston couldn't record the out and committed a throwing error, which allowed Mozingo to score.
The miscue ignited a five-run outburst.
Josh Harris, who relieved DeBruhl, logged an inning-ending double play. The twin killing re-energized the visitors who closed the gap to 12-7 in the eighth against Broadwell, but could get no closer.
"We didn't do a good job of closing it in terms of putting a team away," said Watt. "We were up by nine and they made a game of it. We've got to find a way to get that final punch in, for sure."