03/23/13 — Saints outlast Hawks in 9 innings

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Saints outlast Hawks in 9 innings

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 23, 2013 11:22 PM

La GRANGE -- Southern Wayne continues to find ways to win close games.

North Lenoir endured another difficult loss in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play.

Jacob Hollingsworth delivered a two-run single in the top of the ninth inning and the Saints hung for a 6-4 victory over the Hawks at Alphin Field on Friday evening.

Jacob Sasser picked up the win on the mound with 32/3 innings of scoreless relief. He recorded five strikeouts, and surrendered just one hit and one walk.

The Saints squandered a scoring opportunity in the top of the first inning as Kevin Williams was thrown out at home plate trying to score on Sasser's double to center field.

North Lenoir took an early lead on Dylan Puchalski's two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

Southern Wayne got on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning as Nathan Barwick singled to left field and Hollingsworth scored on a Hawks' error. The Saints had the bases loaded with one out, but failed to score.

Caleb Baird's two-out RBI single in the home half of the fourth inning extended the Hawks' lead to 3-1.

Southern Wayne (7-3 overall, 3-2 ECC) used small ball and an extra-base hit to push across three runs in the top of the fifth inning. A walk, a North Lenoir error and back-to-back infield singles pulled the Saints to within 3-2.

Sasser drove home a run on a fielder's choice and Hunter Barwick's RBI double gave Southern Wayne its first lead at 4-3.

"Small ball is something we're going to have to go back to doing," Saints' head coach Trae McKee said. "I haven't had to do that a whole lot in the last couple of years because we've had some donkeys that could drive the ball out of the yard. I was pleased to see that we did execute."

The Hawks' Brandon Moore drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 4-4.

Southern Wayne used two walks and a hit batsman to load the bases with one out in the top of the ninth. Hollingsworth's two-run double scored Thomas Kelly and Clayton Cashwell to give the Saints a 6-4 advantage. Hollingsworth finished with three hits and two RBI.

"Hollingsworth loves those situations and hitting behind Jacob Sasser he's going to encounter a lot of those situations because if there is a base open most people are going to put Sasser on," McKee said. "Hollingsworth has done a good job of that. When you can win some tight games early your confidence as a team starts to grow and with this ball club we're still learning a lot about each kid."

The Saints entertain Charles B. Aycock on Tuesday, while North Lenoir (1-6, 0-5) visits Eastern Wayne.