Pitt County takes command
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 23, 2012 1:46 PM
WINTERVILLE -- Wayne County Post 11 just can't seem to shake the "big inning" ghost that has haunted it all season.
Pitt County Post 39 hopes the worrisome spirit hangs around at least one more game.
A disastrous defensive second inning helped Pitt County cruise to a 9-2 victory and seize a commanding 2-0 advantage in the Area I East championship series on Sunday afternoon. Game 3 in the best-of-five set is 7 p.m. today at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex in Dudley.
"All year big innings have come back to bite us and today we could never recover," Wayne County head coach Jason Sherrer said. "Our defense was OK (but) we made some poor choices on which bag to throw it to ... had some errors and everything tacked on (after that)."
After retiring Pitt County in order in the first inning on just 11 pitches, Wayne County right-hander Zack Mozingo lost sight of the strike zone. He walked two, plunked three and permitted a run-scoring single to Aaron Clark in a six-batter stretch.
Post 39 coaxed the Post 11 defense into two errors and legged out a pair of fielder's choice grounders. Thomas Conlin capped the eight-run uprising with an RBI single.
Zach Holton accounted for Pitt County's final run -- a two-out RBI single in the third inning. Mozingo yielded nine runs (four earned) on four hits and endured his second defeat of the season.
Duane Gurganus supplied five innings of scoreless, two-strikeout relief. The right-handed alum from Spring Creek retired the final 10 batters he faced and logged two strikeouts.
"It's one of those games," Sherrer said.
Wayne County (17-9) turned out an 11-hit performance against Pitt County right-hander Jarrett Ozimek, who threw a complete game. However, Post 11 batted a paltry 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men on the bags.
Tyler Gainey rapped out a second-inning RBI single. Interference by Post 39 catcher Charlie Herring led to Wayne County's second run. Ashton Cox emerged Post 11's offensive leader with three hits, while Gainey and Hunter Barnett added two hits apiece.
"We had guys on base, but could never move them over ... never get them in," Sherrer said. "We had guys in scoring position with less than two outs ... could never get that hit to scratch a few (on the board) early in the game."
Pitt County remained perfect (6-0) in the postseason and moved to within one win of claiming its first Area I East title since 2006. Post 39 has won seven league crowns overall since 1991.
Post 11 dropped to 4-3 in the playoffs.
"They beat us today and we'll see what kind of attitude we bring to the yard tomorrow," Sherrer said. "We've got to battle through it, do it the hard way, no doubt. (Winning) three games straight against a good ballclub is going to be tough.
"I think if the boys show up and play like they can play, we'll be fine."
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