06/02/13 — Post 11 turns back pesky Jones County

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Post 11 turns back pesky Jones County

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 2, 2013 1:53 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11 didn't enjoy its best offensive outing at the plate Friday evening.

It relied on its defense and pitching, instead, to turn back pesky Area II member Jones County Post 154. Reed Howell and Josh Dixon combined for a shutout on the mound and Post 11 turned a season-high three double plays during its 3-0 victory at Scarborough Field.

Wayne County extended its win streak to four games.

Jones County (2-2 overall) owned a 12-7 advantage in total hits and had 18 base runners on the night. But Howell coaxed Post 154 into double-play groundballs in three different innings, and picked off a runner in the fifth to keep the shutout intact.

Dixon, in his first-ever Senior Legion appearance, provided two innings of scoreless relief. The duo recorded the pitching staff's second consecutive shutout. Post 11 opponents have failed to scratch a run in the last 18 innings and 26 of 28 overall since game two of the Clayton series last weekend.

"Reed did a great job keeping us in the ballgame," said Wayne County head coach Jason Sherrer. "We just didn't get him any runs. Every hit they had was a single, so that's not going to be very detrimental to you from a defensive standpoint.

"I was more concerned with our offense, a lot of lazy fly balls ... gave away a lot of at-bats that I think we could have capitalized on early and given Reed some breathing room instead of him pitching like he did the whole time and keep throwing zeroes up (on the board)."

Post 154 put the lead-off runner aboard in seven of nine innings, including a bizarre fourth. Catcher Christian Hiesey and Gunner Tyndall (4-for-4) connected on back-to-back singles against Howell.

Sean Garbarino fell behind 0-1 in the count and waved at the next pitch to protect a hit-and-run. But Garbarino stepped in front of catcher Justin Barbour and interfered with his throw to third base.

Hiesey was ruled out by the home plate umpire on the play and Garbarino eventually struck out. Howell induced a harmless fielder's choice grounder to end the inning.

"That was real big," Sherrer said. "We had three double plays today in situations that if we don't turn that backside play, then the inning continues, Reed throws more pitches and we have to bring Dixon in earlier than we want to."

Jones County left-hander Matt Buck worked his breaking ball well and retired the first nine Wayne County batters he faced. Ashton Cox (2-for-3, RBI) foiled Buck's no-hit bid with a third-inning single, but was left stranded at second base.

Post 11 broke the scoreless tie in the fourth. Ryan Faucette (2-for-4) slapped a pitch down the left-field line with one out and raced home on Zack Smith's groundout to shortstop.

An infield error extended the fifth inning and led to a single run. Jacob Sasser completed the scoring with a sixth-inning single that pushed home Greg Johnson, who led off with a double after striking out during his first two plate appearances.