03/28/12 — Warriors remain in sole possession of ECC lead

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Warriors remain in sole possession of ECC lead

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 28, 2012 1:49 PM

LaGRANGE -- Eastern Wayne ace Zack Mozingo pitched his game.

North Lenoir just didn't adjust.

Mozingo logged 13 strikeouts and threw a complete-game three-hitter in the Warriors' 6-0 triumph over the Hawks on a breezy, cool Tuesday afternoon. Eastern Wayne (8-3 overall) remained in sole possession of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball lead at 6-0.

"Our guys have seen Mozingo for four straight years and he's no surprise to North Lenoir because whenever we play Eastern Wayne we know we're going to see him," NL head coach Jim Montague said. "He did his job ... a great job. He threw the ball across the plate, challenged our guys and guys just won't ready to hit the ball.

"We had some guys, I think, step up there in fear. But that's the difference between a competitor and not a competitor. He should not have been a surprise to our seniors."

Mozingo (5-0) allowed base runners in six of seven innings, but prevented North Lenoir (6-4, 4-2) from erasing its goose egg on the scoreboard. The Hawks finished hitless in eight at-bats with six runners in scoring position.

North Lenoir stranded nine men overall.

"Mo didn't have his best game on the mound, but we played pretty good defense behind him," EW head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "When he had to come inside (hitters) and make some good pitches, he did. He likes to fast ... threw the ball well against a good-hitting team."

Mozingo boosted his season strikeout total to 53 and lowered his earned run average to a microscopic 0.408. The North Carolina signee has permitted just two earned runs in 34 1/3 innings of work.

It was Mozingo's third complete game of the season.

Eastern Wayne cranked out 11 hits against four North Lenoir hurlers, and deposited two hanging curveballs over the fence. Ryan Faucette slapped a two-strike, off-speed pitch over the left-field wall in the first inning. It was Faucette's second dinger of the year.

Mozingo stroked a three-run homer in the sixth and ended the day 3-for-4 with three RBI. The Warriors have seven homers as a team this season.

"Both home runs ... two strikes," sighed Montague. "These pitchers have to realize if you get two strikes and you want to throw the curveball, number one, you don't throw the curveball in the middle of the plate for strike three and number two, you don't throw a slow curveball.

"If you go for a strikeout curveball with two strikes, it's supposed to be hard and in the dirt. Both of them got burned."