06/07/11 — Post 11 avoids the meltdown this time

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Post 11 avoids the meltdown this time

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 7, 2011 1:47 PM

KINSTON -- Not this time.

Two days after suffering a middle-inning meltdown in South Division play, Wayne County Post 11 refused to experience the same disappointment Monday evening.

Hunter Barnette tossed 31/3 innings of six-strikeout relief and Post 11 claimed a wild, 19-12 decision over division nemesis Kinston Post 43 at Viking Field.

The teams combined for 30 hits, 10 errors and 10 unearned runs. Six pitchers were used in the 3-hour, 33-minute Area I East affair.

"There was some deja vu going on there a little bit, but there is a lot of fight in these boys," said second-year Wayne County head coach Rob Watt. "I don't think they ever thought they were going to lose this game, but they were a little tight there in the big inning. When we get a couple of runs here and there, we have to limit the big inning, for sure."

Wayne County (7-2 overall) nearly invoked the mercy rule with a six-run, sixth-inning outburst. Collin DuBose (2-for-5) cranked out a two-RBI single and Zach Grantham collected one of his team-leading, three RBI during that stretch.

Kinston middle reliever Logan Deaver permitted just three hits, but unleashed three run-scoring wild pitches. Cody Davis capped the scoring with an RBI single to give Post 11 a commanding 14-3 advantage.

Post 43 quickly answered, thanks to a little help.

Three errors and seven hits sparked Kinston's seven-run uprising against Wayne County southpaw Aaron Champion and right-handed reliever Cameron Taylor. Visions of Saturday's collapse danced through the players' heads and the images carried over into the seventh when Post 43 trimmed the deficit to 14-12.

"We have to keep the ball on the infield and make the plays that we can," said Watt. "We have to limit mistakes. I think Cameron did a good job throwing strikes and he wore the brunt of us not making plays behind him."

Wayne County sealed the outcome in the ninth. Grantham and Adron Hollowell combined for three RBI in a five-run outburst. Post 43 yielded additional runs on a balk and infield error.

Barnette retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced . The left-hander surrendered an earned run on four hits.

"Hunter came in and threw strikes, and some hits are going to fall when you're pounding the zone," said Watt. "We're not afraid of doing that as a coaching staff as long as we limit the big hits. He located two pitches for strikes, three pitches sometimes with his change-up.

"He was in and out with his fastball ... fastball command, if you have that, you're going to win a lot of games."

Eight of nine Post 11 starters collected at least one hit on the night. Tyler Farmer batted a season-best 4-for-6 with an RBI. Davis contributed two hits and two RBI.

Wayne County finished with 13 hits.