04/06/12 — Dropped third strike benefits So. Wayne

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Dropped third strike benefits So. Wayne

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 6, 2012 1:48 PM

DUDLEY -- On a night when hits were at a premium, Taylor Raynor came up with a huge one.

Raynor plated the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Southern Wayne went on to defeat Charles B. Aycock 2-1 in a pivotal Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball game Thursday night.

"Sometimes a win is a win," Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee said. "We have lost games in some crazy ways this season so it kind of feels good to be on the winning side for once."

The wild finish was a shocking way to end what was an incredible pitcher's duel.

The Golden Falcons jumped on top in the fourth inning when Collin DuBose belted a solo home run to left field. The blast was the team's first hit of the game.

Southern Wayne answered in equally strange fashion in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Ashton Cox was hit by a pitch and Jacob Sasser followed with a walk. Raynor then tied the game with an RBI single up the middle that left runners on first and third.

Raynor stole second base as Taylor Brock watched a pair of strikes. Brock swung and missed the fourth pitch of the at-bat and appeared to strike out. However, Brock broke for first base as the ball eluded the Golden Falcon catcher.

The errant throw to first bounced off the first baseman's glove and rolled toward second. Sasser raced home from third as Brock crossed first base and gave the Saints a 2-1 lead on a would-be strike out.

"We should have never put ourselves in that position," C.B. Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "You can't expect your pitchers to shut a team out. We had several chances to score earlier in the game and build the lead and we didn't do it."

The teams combined for just six hits on the night.

Jeremy Taylor tossed 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn the mound win for the Saints.

"I thought Jacob Sasser did an excellent job starting out for us," McKee said. "And we went to Jeremy in the fifth and he really came in and shut the door at a big time."

Bryant Stafford suffered the loss for the Golden Falcons despite striking out 11 batters in 5 2/3 solid innings. He allowed just one earned run.

All three of Southern Wayne's hits in the game came on two-strike counts.

"I thought Bryant went out there and worked his tail off," Davis said. "He pitched well enough to win the game for sure."

C.B. Aycock (9-5 overall, 4-4 ECC) will play Nash Central in the Pitt County Invitational at D.H. Conley High School on Saturday. Southern Wayne (10-5, 6-2) will play West Carteret at South Central High School on Saturday.