03/09/11 — Saints rally in final at-bat

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Saints rally in final at-bat

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 9, 2011 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne appeared to be on the brink of disaster twice Tuesday evening.

The Saints rallied both times and earned an 8-7, non-conference win over Rocky Mount on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex baseball diamond.

With the game tied at 6-6 in the top of the seventh inning, Rocky Mount infielder Thomas Berry drew a two-out walk. Taylor Clontz was hit by a pitch and Benton Moss reached on an error to load the bases.

A wild pitch allowed Berry to score from third and gave the Gryphons a 7-6 lead.

The Saints battled back in their final at-bat.

Cody Davis led off with a single and Kevin Wise followed with a fielder's choice. Zach Grantham, Taylor Brock and Tyler Gainey were all hit by consecutive pitches.

Ashton Cox followed with the game-winning RBI single to center field.

"I was so proud of my guys tonight for not getting their heads down and continuing to battle," said Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee. "We got behind early and it would have been easy to call it a night, but we didn't do that and we hung around long enough to get back in it."

Rocky Mount opened a 4-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by Moss. The Gryphons added two runs and held a 6-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings.

Southern Wayne sent Jeremy Taylor to the pitcher's mound and the fiery right-hander shut down the Rocky Mount offense as the Saints bats started to heat up.

"I thought Jeremy did a great job for us," said McKee. "He was up and down a little bit, but overall he made pitches when he had to and gave us a chance to win."

The Saints were beneficiaries of some bad defense by the Gryphons in the bottom of the third. Two Rocky Mount errors allowed Southern Wayne to get back into the game with three runs.

Cox led the Saints with two hits. He also reached on an error and drew a walk in his four plate appearances. Keith Jones tallied three hits and an RBI in the win.

Will Raynor pitched two innings in relief of Taylor and earned the mound win.

Southern Wayne (2-1 overall) travels to Greene Central today.