03/30/11 — Hawks capture wild ECC affair on road

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Hawks capture wild ECC affair on road

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 30, 2011 1:47 PM

After nearly four hours of baseball, a game that featured 24 runs and 31 hits came down to the little things.

David Wiggins' two-out, two-run double in the top of the 10th inning lifted North Lenoir to a 13-11 on Tuesday evening at defending Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference champion Eastern Wayne.

The Hawks benefited from three Warriors' errors and threw out two Eastern Wayne runners at second base that each represented the potential tying run.

"We try to put our players in situations in practice like some of the ones we saw today," said North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague. "Fielding your position and knocking the ball down. I'm glad to see our guys showed some character and not giving up. We could have rolled over when they tied it and when they tied it again.

"These guys wanted to win this ballgame."

Chastin Radford drove the first pitch of the ballgame from Warriors' starting pitcher Logan Wicks over the right-field fence to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. J.T. Williams added a three-run home run and Wiggins tacked on an RBI double.

Greg Simms' RBI single in the bottom of the first inning pulled Eastern Wayne to within 5-1. Spencer Bass' RBI single in the top of the second inning increased the margin to 6-1.

Hunter Barnette's sacrifice fly in the home half of the second inning cut the deficit to 6-1. Dante Arthur belted a three-run homer and Zach Mozingo scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 6-6.

Brian Hardy led off the third inning with a solo homer to put North Lenoir in front 7-6. Radford provided an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning.

Tyler Ware's pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning shrunk the Hawks' advantage to 8-7. Addison Harper's RBI groundout in the top of the seventh stretched the lead to 9-7.

Nolan James' two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning tied the game at 9-9.

Hardy's single and an Eastern Wayne throwing error gave North Lenoir a 10-9 lead in the top of the eighth inning. Wiggins contributed an RBI groundout. Mozingo's sac fly and a wild pitch that allowed Benito Avila to score from third base tied the game at 11-11 in the bottom of the eighth.

The Warriors' committed two more errors during the top of the 10th inning and left the tying runs on base in their final at-bat of the game. Eastern Wayne left eight runners on base.

"If you don't do the little things you're going to get beat," said Warriors' head coach Jabo Fulghum. "The little things of baseball of knowing what to do with the baseball before the pitch is thrown and then reacting after the pitch is thrown, we're not doing that defensively. That's got to change or we're not going to win the close ones."

John Delaney earned the win on the mound with three innings of shutout relief. Mikal Batts led the Hawks with four hits.

Jake May suffered the loss in relief. James finished with three hits and two RBI.

The win moves North Lenoir (8-2 overall, 4-2 ECC) into a tie with Eastern Wayne (8-4, 4-2) for second place in the ECC. The Hawks entertain Kinston today. The Warriors play host to South Johnston on Friday.