05/06/11 — Warriors nip Saints, 3-2

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Warriors nip Saints, 3-2

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 6, 2011 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne starter Jeremy Taylor was excellent.

Eastern Wayne hurler Zach Mozingo was just one pitch better.

Mozingo tossed six strong innings and held back the potent Saints offense in a 3-2, semifinal-round victory in the 2011 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball tournament Thursday evening.

The third-seeded Warriors (15-7 overall) entertain fourth-seeded North Lenoir for the tournament title Monday. First pitch is 7 p.m. and the winner grabs the No. 2 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

"We have given ourselves a chance to do something special and we have done it in two consecutive one-run games," Warriors head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "Now we are in a position where it all comes down to one game."

The Warriors used the home run ball to get a victory.

Wes Capps hammered a full-count offering over the right field fence for a home run to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Southern Wayne tied the game in the third inning when Keith Jones scored on an RBI double off the bat of Kevin Wise. The Saints took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Tyler Gainey scored on a single from Ashton Cox.

Eastern Wayne moved back in front in the fifth frame.

Nolan James led off the inning with a solo home run. Ryan Faucette reached on an error and Wes Stewart singled. Hunter Barnett hit a lazy fly ball to right field that was misplayed by the Saints and allowed Faucette to score.

"We did not take care of the ball at key times," Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee said. "There were opportunities for us to win the game and we did not take advantage. It's that simple."

The Saints' defensive miscues spoiled a strong pitching performance from Jeremy Taylor, who went a complete game and allowed five hits.

"I thought Jeremy pitched his best game tonight," McKee said. "He absolutely did enough to win, but we failed to protect the baseball."

James entered the game for Eastern Wayne in the seventh inning and tallied three consecutive outs for the save behind Mozingo. Mozingo earned the win by striking out nine Southern Wayne batters over six innings. Two nights after tossing two innings of relief against Triton, Mozingo hurled 104 pitches against the Saints.

"I thought both of our guys did a really good job," Fulghum said. "Mo was not at his sharpest, but he battled all night and Nolan came in and threw strikes in a big spot."