07/17/11 — Wayne County overcomes sluggish start against Henderson

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Wayne County overcomes sluggish start against Henderson

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 17, 2011 1:50 AM

PIKEVILLE -- This is more like it.

One day after experiencing an error-filled loss, Wayne County refocused and took out its frustration against Henderson-Vance on the Charles B. Aycock baseball diamond Friday evening.

Allen Coor and Kyle Davis combined for a five-hitter, while Caleb Smith and Trent Herndon collected four RBI apiece in a 17-4, mercy-rule victory in the 2011 Eastern N.C. Babe Ruth 13-year-old state tournament. Wayne County continued elimination-round play Saturday against West Raleigh.

"When the boys will come out here in the right frame of mind and play baseball, this is what happens," said Wayne County head coach Jeff Smith. "When they come out in the wrong mind, you'll see what happened last night (Thursday)."

Wayne County started out sluggish, though.

Henderson-Vance, the District 2 champion, claimed a 3-1 advantage through two innings on three hits and three throwing errors.

"It looked like (Thursday night) again," chuckled Smith.

Then Wayne County shrugged off its doldrums.

Ethan Chapin, the No. 9 batter in the lineup, drew a one-out walk to ignite a five-run, third-inning uprising. Coor followed with a double and Chapin trotted home on Smith's RBI single. Two hits, two walks and two stolen bases later, Wayne County owned a 6-3 advantage.

Coor retired the side in the fourth.

Wayne County plated 10 runs during the next three innings against four Henderson-Vance pitchers. Coach Smith's team swiped nine bases on the night and drew 10 walks in the six-inning affair.

"I don't know why, but it does take these guys an inning or two to get going," said Smith. "Once they get going, they seem to follow through. Sometimes, it's a little too late. (But) I love to see the boys hit the baseball, be aggressive at the plate.

"It tickled me to death."

Wayne County finished with 11 hits. Caleb Smith batted 4-for-4, while Coor and Dylan Harrison each supplied two hits. Herndon, the son of Tommy Herndon who played on C.B. Aycock's state 3-A championship baseball team in 1974, added one hit along with Davis and Chapin.

Coor permitted three unearned runs on three hits in a four-inning stint, and claimed the pitching decision. Davis delivered two innings of one-hit, two-strikeout relief. The duo combined to retire nine consecutive batters before Davis yielded a two-out triple to Dustin Brummitt in the fifth.