06/15/13 — Wayne County thumps Rocky Mount

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Wayne County thumps Rocky Mount

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 15, 2013 11:57 PM

ROCKY MOUNT-- Tired of cancellations and eager to play some baseball, Wayne County Post 11 claimed a well-deserved victory Friday evening.

Gregory Johnson scattered seven hits in a seven-inning stint and lead-off batter Adam Pate cranked out a pair of doubles during a 10-2 triumph over Rocky Mount Post 58 at Legion Field.

Pate finished 3-for-4 and scored four runs for Wayne County, which remained unbeaten in three road outings this season and dumped Post 58 from the unbeaten ranks in Area I East Division play. Rocky Mount (2-5, 2-1 East) suffered just its seventh defeat in 55 regular-season division games since 2007.

"A very important win," Wayne County head coach Jason Sherrer said. "We had practice on our day off, then we got rained out yesterday (Thursday at Kinston), so it was interesting to see how they would come out and play.

"We kept putting pressure on them ... all in all, I thought we played OK and I'm definitely pleased with the outcome."

A pair of rainouts extended Post 11's early-summer break to eight days. The team encountered further adversity when two pitchers didn't feel up to par in bullpen workouts prior to the Post 58 contest.

Sherrer gave the ball to Johnson and the left-hander, despite a shaky start, turned in the pitching staff's longest starting performance of the year. Johnson surrendered two earned runs on seven hits, struck out three and walked two on 88 pitches.

Post 58 grounded into third- and sixth-inning double plays, and had just four runners reach base over the final five innings. Johnson retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced. Josh Dixon struck out two in the eighth and Pate polished off the road win with a perfect ninth that included back-to-back strikeouts.

"When you get a 5-0 lead, you don't need to nit-pick on the corners of the plate," Sherrer said. "I think that's what he (Johnson) got doing (early), didn't trust himself often and that's what give them some base runners and some hits. He got some confidence, threw pitches for a strike and kept us in the ballgame."

Wayne County plated two first-inning runs on one hit, a wild pitch, a hit batsman, a passed ball and two walks. Post 58 right-hander Jonathan Aparicio labored in the second inning and yielded three runs on two hits and two errors.

Instead of shutting down offensively, Post 11 kept up the defensive pressure and got into Rocky Mount's bullpen. Sherrer's squad pushed across two unearned runs on a dropped fly ball in the fifth, and tallied additional runs in the sixth and eighth innings.

"A huge break," Sherrer said of the dropped fly ball that would have been the third out of the inning. "We capitalized on it and that put it a little more out of reach, which also took the pressure off of Greg pitching in a tight game."

Garrett Joyner complemented Pate with a two-hit, one-RBI outing. Ryan Faucette (RBI), Jacob Sasser (RBI), Kevin Williams and Jamie Dove contributed to Wayne County's nine-hit attack.