04/20/11 — Saints use long ball against Hawks

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Saints use long ball against Hawks

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 20, 2011 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne had to hit to win.

And hit they did.

The Saints ripped five extra-base hits, including three home runs, and rallied for an 11-7 win over North Lenoir on the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball scene on Tuesday night.

"A lot of balls got squared up tonight which is a product of two good-hitting teams playing each other," said Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee. "I was just glad to see the we came through with one or two more at big times."

The Saints got on the board first when Zach Grantham belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

North Lenoir answered in the top of the fourth with four runs on five consecutive base hits. Grayson Phillips blasted a solo home run in front of doubles off the bats of Rand Jackson and JT Williams, respectively.

Brian Hardy added an RBI single to cap the inning.

"We have been known to hit the ball a little bit," said North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague. "Unfortunately, we made a few mental errors and cost ourselves a couple of times on the bases and those are things that you can't have happen this time of the year."

Southern Wayne reclaimed the lead for good in the fourth inning.

Tyler Gainey led off with a home run. Taylor Raynor walked, while the Saints got base hits from Ashton Cox and Jaime Dove. Cody Davis delivered an RBI single and Taylor Brock capped the inning with a two-run double.

"Every guy in the lineup did something to help us tonight," said McKee. "I told them after every inning that North Lenoir was not going to go away and our guys kept battling."

Jeremy Taylor tossed four innings of relief to earn the win on the pitcher's mound. Taylor struck out seven batters and only allowed one earned run.

The victory puts Southern Wayne (12-5 overall) in sole possession of second place in the ECC standings at 8-3 with just one league game to play. A win at regular-season champ Charles B. Aycock on Thursday would assure the Saints of second place.

North Lenoir (12-4, 7-4) plays host to Eastern Wayne on Thursday. The two teams are currently tied for third in the league standings.

"You want to be playing your best ball at the end of the season," said Montague. "We definitely need to go out and show that we can play our best baseball on Thursday night if we want to avoid falling to fourth place."

Each game starts at 7 p.m.