Post 11-Edenton (Game 1)
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 16, 2012 1:48 PM
EDENTON -- Pitching and defense.
Wayne County Post 11 shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff and three pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts in a 5-2, come-from-behind victory over Edenton Post 40 on a humid, Saturday evening at venerable Hicks Field.
Post 11 secured its third consecutive postseason win against Post 40.
"That's one in the books," Wayne County head coach Jason Sherrer said. "Our pitchers did a helluva job all the way around."
Starter Zack Mozingo threw an eye-popping 115 pitches in six innings and fanned 11 Edenton hurlers. Ryan Grant officially threw one-third of an inning and southpaw Bryant Stafford provided 22/3 innings of six-strikeout relief to notch his team-leading third save of the season.
Mozingo, third baseman Tyler Gainey and catcher Justin Barbour combined to throw back-to-back runners out at the plate in the fourth inning.
Stafford polished off Edenton in the seventh. He fielded a sacrifice bunt, slipped on the slick grass and threw to Ashton Cox at first base for the inning-ending out.
"Those plays don't look that big in hindsight, but early in the game ... they score one or two runs and we're down instead of going up into the next offensive inning," Sherrer said. "Those were two big plays. We calmly got those routine plays and kind of used that momentum to get our offense going."
Edenton, the No. 4 seed from the North Division, grabbed a 1-0 lead on Scott Edge's solo home run in the third inning. Post 40 didn't scratch again until the seventh. Mozingo, Grant and Stafford forced Edenton to strand 10 runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the first and seventh innings.
Wayne County, the South Division co-champion and No. 1 seed, immediately responded after Edge's solo shot cleared the 300-foot sign in left field. Collin DuBose (2-for-5, RBI) slapped a single to right field and scored when Post 40 botched Mozingo's routine infield ground ball.
Tyler Gainey (2-for-4, three RBI) drove in Mozingo with a two-out single to right field to make it 2-1. Gainey, who inked with Guilford Tech, collected an RBI in each of the sixth and eighth innings.
"That was big ... shut down their momentum," Sherrer said. "We didn't string anything together early on. We scratched for a couple, scored a couple of more and all of a sudden we take pressure off of our pitching staff."
Post 11 logged nine hits against Post 40 right-hander Harry Ferguson, who suffered the complete-game loss. Cox, Hunter Barnett and Will Winslow each provided one hit.
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