04/03/13 — EW's Lancaster, Dixon provide leadership on the mound

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EW's Lancaster, Dixon provide leadership on the mound

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 3, 2013 1:47 PM

GREENVILLE -- Eastern Wayne's pitching was almost perfect.

In fact, it was almost perfect twice.

Three Warrior pitchers combined for 14 shutout innings as Eastern Wayne swept a pair of games during the 2013 Pitt County Classic on Tuesday afternoon. The Warriors beat Nash Central 8-0 and triumphed 7-0 over West Craven.

Eastern Wayne right-hander Jeremy Lancaster was the story of the first game.

The senior mowed through Nash Central hitters with remarkable efficiency and carried a no-hitter through six innings. A line drive to right field appeared to be lost in the sun by the Warriors' defense and Ryan Barham broke up the no-hit bid to lead off the seventh inning.

Lancaster settled for a one-hit shutout.

"Jeremy went out and filled up the strike zone," Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "He mixed up his pitches well and got his off-speed stuff over which kept the hitters off balance."

As good as Lancaster was on the mound, the Warriors' offense was equally as impressive. The team pounded out 15 hits and eight runs. Zack Smith led the team with a perfect 4-for-4 night that included two doubles. Josh Dixon added three hits and two RBI.

"We hit a lot of balls hard today," Fulghum said. "Most importantly, we hit the ball on the ground and gave ourselves a chance. There were not very many weak fly ball outs."

Dixon moved from his usual spot behind the plate to the pitcher's mound for game two and continued the Warriors' dominance.

Staked to a 3-0 lead after one inning, Dixon rolled through the West Craven batting order. The right-hander threw just 31 pitches through the first four innings, and allowed just three hits in a six-inning stint.

Ryan Faucette entered the game in the seventh inning and completed the second Eastern Wayne shutout of the day.

"I was going to try to let Dixon go all seven," Fulghum said. "But after catching seven innings in the first game and pitching six in the second game, his arm was just out of gas. He did a great job and so did Faucette at the end."

Much like the first game, Eastern Wayne (7-7 overall) battered the opposing pitchers. Grayson Wells, Tyler Huetter and Ryan Warren each recorded two hits in the win. M.J. Morgan and Josh Vandiford each delivered a pinch hit in their only at-bat of the game.

Lancaster and Dixon were each named to the All-Classic team.

Eastern Wayne plays host to Cleveland on Apr. 9.