02/29/12 — Mistakes hurt Warriors in opener

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Mistakes hurt Warriors in opener

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 29, 2012 1:48 PM

With its ace on the mound and ailing teammate Jake May in the ballpark, the stage was set for Eastern Wayne to open its season in grand fashion.

Instead, the Warriors turned in a performance short on aggression and full of critical mistakes and indecision. South Central took advantage of three Eastern Wayne errors and pulled away late for a 4-1 win on Tuesday afternoon in New Hope.

Gabe Tippett put the Falcons ahead early with a two-out solo home run to left field in the top of the first inning off Warriors' starting pitcher Zack Mozingo.

South Central starting pitcher Tucker Jacobs held Eastern Wayne without a hit until Wes Stewart's one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the third inning. Tyler Huetter followed with a single to left field. Huetter was thrown out at second base on Hunter Barnett's fielder's choice and Ryan Faucette struck out to end the inning.

The Warriors tied the game at 1-1 after Nolan James singled in the home half of the fourth and later scored on an error with two outs. Eastern Wayne hitters found themselves in two-strike counts throughout the ballgame and routinely watched strikes go by early in at-bats. The Warriors finished with just three hits and left six runners on base.

Jacobs earned the win on the mound. He recorded seven strikeouts and surrendered three hits and one unearned run in five innings of work.

"Their right-hander did an excellent job of keeping the ball in strike zone," Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "He kept his changeup down and he kept his curveball down. We didn't make adjustments with two strikes and we didn't play good defense. We were too timid.

"We didn't swing at some fastballs that were right down the middle."

Zach Holton led off the top of the sixth inning by reaching on an error as Warriors' center fielder Tyler Ware attempted to make a sliding catch and the ball rolled past Ware and Holton raced to second base. Holton advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Thomas Conlin's sacrifice fly. Brady Hill added an RBI single to increase the lead to 3-1.

Jacobs provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh inning.

Eastern Wayne threatened with a pair of walks to begin the bottom of the seventh. Hill, on in relief of Jacobs, retired Stewart, Benito Avila and Barnett to end the game and collect the save.

Mozingo allowed just one earned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks and settled for a no-decision. Barnett endured the loss and gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in two innings of relief.

The Warriors (0-1 overall) entertain J.H. Rose on Friday.