05/04/12 — Saints to face rival

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Saints to face rival

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 4, 2012 1:48 PM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne got a gem from starting pitcher Jeremy Taylor and held on for a 2-1 win over North Lenoir in the semifinal round of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball tournament on Thursday night.

Taylor allowed just two hits over seven innings and recorded a complete game on just 80 pitches. The second-seeded Saints (16-9 overall) travel archrival and top-seeded Eastern Wayne in the championship game on Monday night.

"Jeremy did a good job of getting ahead early in the count," Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee said. "When he was able to get ahead, he put guys away and he was very efficient throughout."

Southern Wayne jumped on top in the fourth inning.

Keith Jones reached on an error and moved into scoring position on Ashton Cox's groundout. Taylor Brock delivered an RBI single, and scored when Taylor Raynor singled and the Hawks committed their second error of the inning on an overthrow.

"The fact is when you play good teams you must play good defense," North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague said. "We had one inning of bad defense and that put us in a hole that our bats could not get us out of."

Taylor allowed a lead-off single to Mikal Batts in the second inning and proceeded to retire 16 consecutive batters before Bryan Hardy got the Hawks on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Taylor retired the next two Hawks without incident.

"Jeremy made one mistake and a good hitter hit it out of the park," McKee said. "Other than that one pitch, he was as good as he could be against a strong offensive club in North Lenoir."

Caleb Kearney suffered the loss on the mound for the Hawks. Kearney went six innings and allowed just four hits and two unearned runs.

North Lenoir dropped to 15-8 overall.