03/16/13 — Southern Wayne baseball beats Eastern Wayne

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Southern Wayne baseball beats Eastern Wayne

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 16, 2013 11:30 PM

DUDLEY -- Frustrated from leaving runners on base and destined for a no-hit defeat, Southern Wayne found a way to get the job done Friday evening.

Kevin Williams delivered the game-winning base knock in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Saints slipped past Eastern Wayne, 2-1, on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex baseball diamond.

Southern Wayne (5-2 overall) claimed its first regular-season win over its archrival since 2006 when it claimed a share of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference championship. The Warriors have won 17 of 25 meetings since 2004.

"Offensively, you're not always going to be there and we found a way to get it done," Saints head coach Trae McKee said. "It was a good team win. We battled, had some opportunities ... didn't scratch, didn't scratch, didn't scratch until at the end."

The Saints stranded 11 of 16 runners it put on base and hit just .286 (2 for 7) with men in scoring position. They left the bases loaded in the second and sixth innings, and left two men at second base in each of the third and fifth innings.

Eastern Wayne right-hander Jeremy Lancaster constantly wiggled out of trouble and received solid support from his defense that recorded 15 putouts on 16 attempts in the field. Lancaster walked eight batters and was replaced in the fifth inning by reliever Zach Smith.

Smith entered with two runners on base and induced consecutive fielder's choice groundouts to preserve the Warriors' one-run advantage.

"(Lancaster) got behind too much," Warriors head coach Jabo Lancaster. "He'd come back (in the count), but he'd have four, five or six pitches on a batter. He had good stuff when he trusted himself and when you do that, you've got to make the hitters get themselves out instead of trying to guide it in there.

"I'm not disappointed in Smitty at all. I thought he came in a tough situation and handled it pretty good."

The Saints (2-1 ECC) finally broke up the Warriors' no-hit bid in the sixth.

Cody Wendorf drew a one-out walk and was replaced at first base by courtesy runner Drake Shaw. Shaw moved into scoring position on Nathan Barwick's single and both runners advanced on Garrett Whitfield's infield hit.

Smith got behind 2-1 in the count against Williams and threw a fastball. Williams roped a single into left field, bringing home both Shaw and Barwick for the 2-1 lead.

"We went and challenged him, he got the job done and that's the way baseball is," Fulghum said. "Zach has a very good change-up and couldn't find it that inning."

Eastern Wayne (2-4 overall, 1-2 ECC) threatened in the seventh with a two-out walk and infield bunt single. Reliever Jacob Sasser closed the door with a strikeout, which gave the Saints back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since 2006.

Wendorf (2-1) earned the mound win, allowing an RBI single to Ryan Kelly in the fifth inning and giving up two hits overall in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander fanned eight Warriors and walked four with an effective change-up.

"Cody did a super job," McKee said. "He had good command of his change-up, good command of his fastball. I thought he attacked the strike zone well and was ahead of a lot of hitters.

"He was strong, I thought, and has gotten a lot better throughout this year."