03/27/13 — Hawks notch first ECC baseball win of the year

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Hawks notch first ECC baseball win of the year

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 27, 2013 1:47 PM

After opening the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference schedule with five consecutive close losses, North Lenoir finally broke through on Tuesday night.

The Hawks held off a late rally for a 4-2 victory over Eastern Wayne for their first league win of the season.

"We needed this one for our sanity," North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague said. "Every game it seems like we have lost by one run, or lost in extra innings, tonight was big for our guys' confidence."

North Lenoir jumped in front in the first inning when Justin Shimer scored on a base hit by Caleb Baird.

The Hawks made the score 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning.

Landon Letchworth reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a double by Tyler Smith. Ryan Rhodes followed with an RBI single and gave the visitors a three-run cushion.

Eastern Wayne loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with nobody out. Tyler Huetter plated a run with a sacrifice fly, but that is all the Warriors would get from the opportunity.

"Tonight we did not do a good job of cashing in runners in scoring position," Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "We had at least two chances with runners at third and less than two outs, and all we got was one run."

North Lenoir (1-7 overall, 1-5 ECC) tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 lead.

Eastern Wayne rallied in the bottom of the seventh without the benefit of a base hit. Ryan Kelly reached on an error and was erased on Brandon Johnson's fielder's choice. Ryan Faucette reached on a second Hawk miscue and Grayson Wells bounced into an RBI groundout to make the score 4-2.

North Lenoir relief pitcher Luke Jackson induced an infield pop-up to end the game.

"I thought both of our pitchers did a good job tonight," Montague said. "Tyler Smith gave us four quality innings and then Luke came in and made the lead stand up."

Smith got the win and Jackson earned the save. Zack Smith took the loss for the Warriors.

Eastern Wayne (3-7, 2-4) plays host to South Johnston tonight. North Lenoir faces Raleigh Sanderson in the opening round of the Pitt County Classic at Guy Smith Stadium on Saturday.