06/05/13 — Wayne County offense shut down after 2nd inning

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Wayne County offense shut down after 2nd inning

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 5, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Wayne County Post 11 lost its sense of urgency, fell into the wrong groove and endured a disappointing defeat against an old nemesis Tuesday evening.

Right-hander Casey Flora overcame a shaky start to retire 20 of the final 22 batters he faced as Wilson Post 13 captured a come-from-behind, 6-4 victory at Scarborough Field in Area I East Division play.

"Their pitcher did a great job going to his strength and beat us, no doubt," Post 11 coach Jason Sherrer said. "We just fell into his groove instead of staying with our strengths. We changed our approach, knew that he was throwing his breaking ball for a strike any time in the count and we got caught guessing a lot.

"When you do that, you can't get base runners on because you're hitting defensively instead of offensively. You're trying to not get out instead of going for the hit."

Wayne County (7-2 overall, 2-1 East) manufactured four runs on five hits during the first two innings. Jacob Sasser (2-for-4) connected on an RBI single in the first. Lead-off batter Garrett Joyner stroked a two-RBI double to right field in the second inning, and Ryan Faucette plated Joyner -- Post 11's final run -- with a single to right.

Zack Smith singled to right field to start Wayne County's second inning and moved into scoring position on Justin Barbour's one-out infield hit. Neither runner scored against Flora, who became unsolvable at that point.

Post 11's next 20 batters combined for seven flyouts, 12 groundouts and one strikeout in their final 22 plate appearances. Flora, who threw 34 pitches the first two innings, recorded single-digit pitch counts in the third and sixth innings.

Flora delivered a 105-pitch outing.

"We hit so many lazy pop flies that Legion teams usually aren't going to miss," Sherrer said. "It was one of those games where I don't think we ever had a sense of urgency. I don't want to say we panicked."

But Wayne County lost its offensive punch.

And Wilson (2-5, 1-2) came to life in the fourth inning.

Post 11 left-hander Gregory Johnson retired the first 10 batters he faced on a pitch count that neared 50 after three-plus innings. Consecutive one-out walks, a run-scoring balk and Tony Allafino's base hit woke up the Post 13 dugout.

Nick Cole trimmed the deficit to 4-2 with a single to right field. Johnson avoided further damage and eventually exited after five innings.

Wilson took the lead in the sixth against Post 11 reliever Josh Dixon, who couldn't preserve the lead. Four hits and a wild throwing error led to a three-run outburst and a lead that Flora wouldn't relinquish.

Post 13 added a single run in the seventh.

"I didn't see guys run out of the box hard, didn't see guys coming off the field thinking we're still in this ballgame no matter the score, and that was the fourth inning," Sherrer said. "I told them that's what I was most disappointed about, the effort as far as making adjustments and going hard.

"You're going to lose some ballgames, but you don't want to lose because you're not playing hard. You don't ever want to do that."