07/27/11 — Reynolds too tough for Post 11

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Reynolds too tough for Post 11

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 27, 2011 1:47 PM

MOREHEAD CITY -- Drew Reynolds?

Good as advertised.

Cherryville Post 39?

The best team Wayne County has seen all season.

Reynolds threw a complete-game, five-hit gem during a 9-1 triumph in the 2011 N.C. Senior American Legion state baseball tournament championship game Tuesday afternoon. Cherryville (31-7 overall) clinched the automatic bid to the Southeast Regional, which begins Aug. 4 in Sumter, S.C.

Post 11 finished state runner-up for the sixth time in program history.

Reynolds retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced and permitted one earned run for Post 39, which captured its sixth state crown in the past 15 years. A right-hander, Reynolds (8-0) has yielded just one run in the last 38 1/3 innings he's thrown in the postseason.

"Let's give credit where credit is due. That's a really good club over there," said Rob Watt, who stepped down as Wayne County's head coach after the game. "They played better than we did today. They brought the sticks and tip your cap to the kid on the mound. He battled and looked to fatigue in the sixth inning, then all of a sudden he found another gear.

"He found a way to finish this thing."

Wayne County (28-7) put just eight runners aboard against Reynolds, who logged 11 strikeouts on 128 pitches. Post 11 stranded seven men on base and managed only one hit with a runner in scoring position.

Tyler Ruffin foiled Reynolds' shutout bid with a two-out RBI single in the sixth. Jonathan Taylor led Wayne County with two hits. Cody Davis and Tyler Gainey contributed one hit apiece.

"The name of this game is pitching," said Watt. "Their guy came out, pitched well and had command of three pitches for strikes. He showed a slider, curveball ... threw them all for strikes on both sides of the plate. He kept our guys off balance quite a bit.

"Even when we did hit some balls hard, they found a glove."

Cherryville pounded out 15 hits, including two home runs, against a worn down Wayne County pitching staff. Cameron Taylor surrendered four earned runs on four hits and recorded two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

Taylor suffered his first loss in seven decisions this season.

Collin DuBose supplied three-plus innings of six-hit relief. Zach Beachem, Derek Limbaugh and Duane Gurganus combined to throw the final two innings.

"We were running on fumes, no doubt," said Watt.

JC Drewery III paced Post 39's offense with four hits, including a home run and four RBI. Travis Blake belted a solo home run in a 2-for-4 showing. Five batters turned in multiple-hit performances for Cherryville, which has won six of 10 meetings against Wayne County.

"It wasn't our game today," said Watt.