05/26/11 — Raleigh 297 hands Wayne County first loss

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Raleigh 297 hands Wayne County first loss

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 26, 2011 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Raleigh Post 297 used two four-run outbursts to knock Wayne County Post 11 from the unbeaten ranks Wednesday evening.

Post 297's Chris Davis cranked out two extra-base hits and drove in five runs in a 10-1, non-division triumph over Post 11 at Scarborough Field on the Mount Olive College campus.

Wayne County dipped to 2-1 overall.

"I'm not as upset with the pitching as you might think," said Post 11 assistant coach Jackson Massey. "Our guys were around the zone the whole night. Duane (Gurganus) just had some tough luck with some bloopers and bleeders. The big innings always started when we wouldn't make the routine play with nobody out."

Gurganus allowed base runners the first two innings, but got a groundout and a strikeout to avoid any damage. The Spring Creek senior permitted consecutive base hits in the third, which ignited Post 297's first uprising of the evening.

Saunders knotted the contest at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly. Davis doubled home Bahlkowski for the eventual game-winning run and winning pitcher Patrick Laganke supplied a two-RBI double.

Post 297 led 4-1.

A throwing error, hit batsman and Davis' two-RBI double spearheaded a fourth-inning surge that put Raleigh in command, 8-1.

"Duane got in some trouble early," said Massey. "Zack (Beachem) came in and did a great job I thought. He held the ballgame close and tried to give our hitters a chance to win."

Beachem recorded five punchouts in five-plus innings of work and surrendered two unearned runs on four hits. However, neither he or nor Gurganus received any run support from an anemic Post 11 offense that mustered just six hits against a trio of Post 297 hurlers.

Laganke, a rising senior at Millbrook, retired 11 of 14 batters he faced during two-plus innings in a five-inning outing. Division II signees Charlie Good (St. Andrews) and Saunders (Lenoir-Rhyne) provided four innings of three-hit, four-strikeout relief.

Wayne County was hitless in six tries with runners in scoring position, and left the bases loaded in the seventh. Massey's team stranded nine runners overall in the nine-inning affair.

"We've got to put more pressure on the defense. We've got to make them field the play, but not just routine choppers ... everyday plays," said Massey. "I don't know if we came to the ballpark ready (to play). I think we came out here a little lackadaisical and once they put those big innings on us early, I think we were kind of shell-shocked for a little bit and never got back into the groove."