Chargers avoid Warriors' ambush
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 1, 2011 1:51 AM
Perennial independent baseball powers Wayne County Day and Waccamaw played the classic game of "I don't want it, you take it" on Friday afternoon.
The Chargers finally took control in the fifth inning.
Tyson Pearson's bases-loaded, RBI walk led to the eventual game-winning run in a 10-7 triumph over the Warriors on day two of the Charger Diamond Classic. Mother Nature washed out opening-day action, which was scheduled for Thursday.
The Chargers (12-7 overall) claimed their sixth consecutive victory, and have prevailed in eight of its last 10 outings since April 2.
"I was pleased with the guys' effort," said WCDS head coach Michael Taylor, who notched career win No. 99. "This team is playing better than it was earlier in the year."
And it showed some grit.
Pearson, who emerged the winning pitcher, labored through a four-run fourth inning, but answered with three consecutive strikeouts to end the fifth. Once he moved to the infield, the senior shortstop recorded three assists on the final three outs of the game.
Catcher Hil Tanner gunned down a runner at second base in the fourth inning. Center fielder Cody Neal made a sliding grab on a fly ball, which squelched the Warriors' sixth-inning rally.
Overall, WCDS committed just two errors -- well below its season average of 4.5 per game. The two miscues led to six unearned runs for Waccamaw, which struck out six times and recorded seven hits during Pearson's five-inning stint.
"Tyson did a very good job on the mound," said Taylor. "He got in trouble that one inning and he bounced back. He did a good job keeping his composure and let the defense do its job. Defensively, I thought we played one of our best games of the year."
Pearson leads the WCDS bullpen with five victories in 14 appearances this season. Cole Davis tossed two innings of one-strikeout, scoreless relief for his second save of the season.
"Cole did a great job," said Taylor.
Waccamaw (9-4) held a 3-0 lead through 2 1/2 innings.
Davis started the WCDS third with a lead-off single, stole second and scored on Pearson's RBI double to right-center field. Pearson stole third and scampered home on a perfectly-executed delay steal with teammate Mason Bland, who was tagged out at second.
Warrior sophomore Hunter White walked Thomas Kierski and permitted a game-tying, run-scoring single to senior Thomas Elmore. Elmore entered the game with just four hits, but finished the day 2-for-4 with an RBI.
"We got timely hits," said Taylor. "Thomas came up with a clutch hit. That was big for him because he's been struggling as of late. He certainly did his job that time."
Waccamaw regained the lead 7-3, only to see WCDS create a 7-7 deadlock during its fourth-inning at-bat.
Taylor had a brief meeting with his team.
"I said 'all right boys, we have to get it done right here and right now'," he said. "I did think the guys would be more hungry today since we've been off for so long. (The game) had went back-and-forth, and we finally took control of it."
The Chargers tallied three fifth-inning runs without getting a hit. The Warriors obliged with two errors, a hit batsman, three walks, a wild pitch and a balk.
Pearson had the lone RBI during the game-winning surge.
"We could have stayed down when it got 3-0 and 7-3 in their favor, but they battled back," said Taylor.
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