03/22/11 — Wayne Country Day rolls 15-5

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Wayne Country Day rolls 15-5

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 22, 2011 1:47 PM

Wayne Country Day almost got stuck in cruise control Monday afternoon.

The Chargers raced to a nine-run lead after three innings, relaxed a little bit defensively and then received a fourth-inning wake-up call.

Trinity-Fayetteville posted a four-run inning, but WCDS eventually captured a 15-5, mercy rule-shortened victory in overcast, blustery conditions.

"The first three innings, I thought we did well," said Chargers head coach Michael Taylor, who picked up his 90th career win. "We ran the bases well, hit the ball well and did what we had to defensively. I thought we were really into it mentally."

Cody Neal threw shutout innings for the Chargers. The right-hander retired eight of nine batters he faced, and induced an inning-ending double play to erase the only hitter he permitted on base in the first.

The Chargers (3-2 overall) plated nine runs during that stretch.

Senior Tyson Pearson and first-year starter Thomas Kierski each drove in a first-inning run. Hil Tanner produced a two-RBI single and Pearson plated Tanner with an RBI single in the second inning.

Tanner belted a broken-bat, solo home run in the third. It was his first round-tripper of the season.

Trinity aided Wayne Country Day's outburst with passed balls, wild pitches and infield errors on routine plays.

The Crusaders avoided the shutout in the fourth.

Chance Whitted's lead-off double, the second hit allowed by Neal, started the surge. Two infield errors, four stolen bases -- including home -- and a base hit helped Trinity close the gap to 9-4.

"That one inning, we thought the game was already won and we fell asleep," said Taylor. "We have to learn not to fall asleep on any team because a better team can come back to bite you. I think that was a wake-up call.

"You have to play every out."

Tanner's two-RBI single spearheaded the Chargers' four-run, fourth-inning outburst. A junior catcher, Tanner just missed hitting for the cycle in a 3-for-3, five-RBI performance.

Bryce Creger and Neal each delivered a fifth-inning RBI single which invoked the mercy rule.

Seven WCDS starters recorded at least one hit on the afternoon. Cole Davis, who threw an inning of one-hit relief, ended the day 2-for-3 with an RBI. Pearson was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Just five players, including four starters, return off last year's team which reached the semifinal round of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A playoffs.

"A lot of these guys are playing for the first time," said Taylor. "Every day they're learning, and that's what these non-conference games are going to be for this season. What I like about this team is they're asking questions, taking it in and learning from it.

"It's exciting with new people out there and I get to teach these guys about baseball."

The Chargers entertain three-time defending NCISAA 1-A state champion Lawrence Academy on Friday. The Warriors won the previous meeting, 9-5.