06/26/11 — Costly sweep: Post 11 loses key player against Ahoskie

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Costly sweep: Post 11 loses key player against Ahoskie

By Ryan Hancett
Published in Sports on June 26, 2011 1:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11 dominated from the opening pitch and rolled over Ahoskie Post 102 in a pair of victories on the American Legion baseball scene on Saturday afternoon.

Wayne County won 18-5 and 11-1, respectively at Scarborough Field.

Both games ended in the fifth inning via the mercy rule.

The pair of victories was unusually costly for Post 11.

Jonathan Taylor, the team's second baseman and catcher, was hit in the face by a pitch during the first inning of game. Taylor suffered a serious injury and was immediately taken to the hospital.

"We hope there isn't anything broken or any eye damage," said Wayne County head coach Rob Watt. "He has been our best offensive player and we don't want to lose him. But Jon has a future in college baseball and the more important thing right now is his long-term health."

Wayne County broke the game open in the third inning with 12 runs.

Tyler Farmer led off by reaching on an error and was followed by consecutive singles from Kevin Wise and Cody Davis. Four Ahoskie errors among the next five batters led to 11 of Wayne County's 12 runs being unearned. Adron Hollowell and Tyler Gainey capped the inning with back-to-back RBI doubles.

Post 11 added six runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Hunter Barnett belted a one-out triple and scored when Wise reached on another error. Davis walked, Zach Grantham was hit by a pitch and Hollowell walked to load the bases. Gainey ripped a sacrifice fly and Davis scored on a wild pitch.

Nicholas McGee and Collin Dubose ended the scoring with an RBI single apiece.

"We have scored 86 runs in our last six games," Watt said. "This team has gotten offense from just about everybody. The nice thing is that our defense has been good, too, during the recent hot stretch."

Ahoskie mounted a minor threat in the fifth inning when Marvin Harell, Daniel Merritt and Patrick Dilday laced back-to-back RBI singles. Jeremy Taylor relieved Wayne County starter Duane Gurganus and thwarted the rally.

Gurganus earned the mound win with 4 1/3 innings of work that featured three strikeouts.

The second game was much of the same as Wayne County scored in every inning en route to an 11-1 win. Hollowell belted a solo home run and Wise added an RBI triple as part of a four-run second inning.

Aaron Champion picked up the mound win with a complete-game performance that included four strikeouts.

Wayne County (13-4 overall) travels to Kinston Post 43 today and entertains Clayton Post 71 on Tuesday. Each game begins at 7 p.m.