06/17/11 — Rocky Mount hands Wayne County 8-4 defeat

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Rocky Mount hands Wayne County 8-4 defeat

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 17, 2011 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Rocky Mount Post 58 applied the pressure.

Wayne County Post 11 just couldn't catch a break.

Post 58, the two-time defending Area I East champion, pushed across runs in the early innings and exited Scarborough Field with an 8-4 victory Thursday evening.

Rocky Mount benefited from a third-inning error, swiped five bases and turned a momentum-killing, third-inning double play.

"They did a good job taking advantage of some situations, executed a squeeze play ... did the small things right," said Post 11 head coach Rob Watt. "In baseball, if you can do the little things right, stuff comes easier. That allows a coach to do more things strategically. They put the bat on the ball, made us make plays.

"They put pressure on our defense the whole time."

Post 58 collected just eight hits against three Post 11 hurlers -- Aaron Champion, Jeremy Taylor and Duane Gurganus. Champion endured his first loss in two decisions this season, while Taylor provided five innings of four-hit, three-run relief.

Gurganus threw a perfect ninth.

Wayne County (7-4 overall) seized a 2-1 advantage in the second inning. Adron Hollowell connected on a one-out double and scored on Cameron Taylor's base knock. Taylor moved into scoring position on Hunter Barnett's double and trotted home on Cody Davis' groundout to short.

Rocky Mount (10-3) regained control in the third. A walk, two base hits and an infield error on a routine ground ball allowed Post 58 to surge ahead, 4-2. The defensive miscue led to three unearned runs.

"We still talk about limiting the big inning and we gave them a bit of a cushion," said Watt. "You've got an opportunity to get our guy out of an inning and we need to make that play. But we've got to be composed, get back in there and do things right."

Post 58 chased Champion in the fourth and extended its advantage to 8-2.

Designated hitter Jonathan Taylor trimmed the deficit in half with a two-run, fifth-inning home run. It was Taylor's second round-tripper and just the third overall for Post 11 this season.

Taylor finished the night 2-for-3.

Neither team scored the remainder of the 2-hour, 50-minute affair.

Wayne County collected eight hits against seven Rocky Mount pitchers. Barnett, the No. 9 batter in the lineup, cranked out a season-best three hits that included his second-inning double. Tyler Farmer, Hollowell and Cameron Taylor (RBI) added to the offensive attack.

Post 58's staff logged five strikeouts and permitted four earned runs.

"It can be an effective strategy, obviously they were doing it because they have conference play coming up and they wanted to limit the innings," said Watt. "It makes it tough to get in there and get a rhythm against a guy, understand what he's going to do in certain situations.

"You don't get an opportunity to see him once through the order. It's a little difficult to get a feel for the guy, for sure."