05/29/13 — Post 11's Johnson throws 6 strong innings

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Post 11's Johnson throws 6 strong innings

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 29, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11, so far, has started inexperienced arms on the bump this season.

Nearly each hurler has proven he belongs in a uniform.

Greg Johnson became the latest pitcher to make a personal statement Tuesday evening. The left-hander yielded two hits in a six-inning stint during his Senior Legion debut and Post 11 carved out an 11-0, mercy-rule win over Duplin-Sampson Post 127 at Scarborough Field.

Wayne County has won all 11 meetings in the series.

Johnson recorded eight strikeouts, the most by any Post 11 hurler this season, and retired 11 consecutive batters during one stretch. Duplin-Sampson (0-3 overall) had just three runners to reach base.

"I talked to (assistant) Jackson (Massey) and we said 'why not, see what he's got'," Wayne County head coach Jason Sherrer said. "Early on in the season, whether we win or lose the game, what can we get out of him from either the bullpen or in a starting role.

"I think we saw tonight we can use him as either one."

Johnson permitted just one base runner during the first five innings. He sat down Post 127 in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings; and threw a total of 78 pitches, including 50 strikes.

Post 127 put runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth inning. Johnson fanned a pinch-hitter on three consecutive strikes for his final out of the evening.

"He threw really well," Sherrer said. "He gave us a chance to win. Our bats came alive and we made it an easy game."

Zack Smith threw a 1-2-3 seventh in relief.

Seven of nine Wayne County starters recorded at least one hit apiece in the 1-hour, 51-minute non-division contest. Justin Barbour doubled in a 2-for-3, two-RBI performance. Smith and Chad Murphy each drove in a pair of runs.

Post 11's batters tagged five Duplin-Sampson pitchers for just nine hits and struck out eight times, boosting their strikeout count to 24 in the last two games combined.

"I think our approach is suspect, to say the least, and we need to hone in on what pitch we're looking for (at the plate)," Sherrer said. "We're definitely not getting hosed early in the count or late in the count. I think some of our guys are guessing rather than going up there with an idea of what they're looking for or what they need to hit."

Wayne County (3-1) put plenty of pressure on the Duplin-Sampson defense during the first three innings. Post 11 swiped six bases, banged out eight hits and benefited from a couple of Post 127 miscues en route to its 11-0 lead.

Five runs were unearned.