03/28/12 — Kelly delivers game-winning hit

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Kelly delivers game-winning hit

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 28, 2012 1:49 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Southern Wayne's "never-say-die" mentality has it alive and well in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference.

Charles B. Aycock' s ECC title hopes are slipping away.

Thomas Kelly delivered an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning and Southern Wayne hung on for a 5-4 win on Tuesday afternoon. It was the Saints' second consecutive comeback victory over an ECC opponent, and gave them sole possession of second place in the league.

Aycock tumbled to fourth place.

Adam Pate led off the bottom of the first inning with a double to left field. Pate later scored on Bryant Stafford's groundout to give the Golden Falcons a 1-0 lead.

Justin Barbour led off the Golden Falcons' fourth inning with a single to right field. Collin DuBose followed with an infield single. Logan Brown's sacrifice bunt scored courtesy runner Jordan Lee to increase the Golden Falcons' lead to 2-0. DuBose trotted home on Ryan Grant's RBI groundout.

Jamie Dove pulled Southern Wayne to within 3-1 on a lead-off home run to right field in the top of the sixth inning. The Saints loaded the bases with no outs on an error, an infield single and a walk.

Ashton Cox drew a walk with the bases loaded to score Clayton Cashwell and the lead shrunk to 3-2. DuBose, on in relief of Stafford, walked Jacob Sasser to tie the game at 3-3.

Aycock pitchers combined to issue six walks and the Golden Falcons' defense committed three errors.

"We had played a great game up until the sixth inning," Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "It's just very frustrating."

Later in the sixth inning, Tyler Gainey raced home from third on Kevin Williams' suicide squeeze bunt to give Southern Wayne a 4-3 lead.

"Once we cross the plate the first time, we get it going," Saints' head coach Trae McKee said. "We had some success bunting. The grass is tall because of all the rain we've had. That kind of killed the speed (of the ball) a little bit. We had the right guy in the right situation with Kevin Williams."

Pate scored on Barbour's RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at 4-4.

Taylor Brock began the top of the eighth inning for Southern Wayne with a double to left field. Courtesy runner Josh Crawford scored on Kelly's one-out single to center field.

"The last two games we've had a little spark," McKee said. "I'm proud of the way we didn't put our heads down after they tied the game. We decided we were going to score a run and put ourselves back on top."

Jeremy Taylor recorded the win on the mound and surrendered one earned run on one hit with four strikeouts and two walks in four innings of relief.

The Saints entertain New Bern today, while the Golden Falcons play host to South Central.