06/18/13 — Post 11 rallies in seventh, eighth innings at Wilson

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Post 11 rallies in seventh, eighth innings at Wilson

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 18, 2013 1:47 PM

WILSON -- Sometimes you can win without your "A" game.

And Wayne County Post 11 considers itself lucky.

Two eighth-inning errors allowed Post 11 to push the winning run across in a come-from-behind, 4-3 triumph over Area I East nemesis Wilson Post 13 at historic Fleming Stadium on Monday evening.

Turnabout was fair play during this meeting.

Wayne County (12-2 overall, 6-1 East) squandered an early four-run lead against Post 13 less than two weeks ago, a loss that left Post 11 players embarrassed by their performance. They seemed destined to absorb a series sweep by the league's basement-dwelling team, but finally awoke in the seventh inning of the rematch.

Treading water for six innings and hitless with runners in scoring position, Ryan Faucette put Post 11 on the board with a one-out, solo home run off soft-throwing reliever Casey Flora that barely cleared the left-field pole. It was Faucette's second home run in as many days and 10th hit overall in his last four outings.

"I thought it was going foul," a grinning Faucette said. "It was an inside pitch. The rest of the guys were saying that he was throwing everything outside, so I was surprised to see an inside curveball."

Flora couldn't handcuff Post 11 this time with his slow-moving curveball and not-so-fast fastball. Jacob Sasser followed with a two-strike double and scored on Justin Barbour's two-out single into left field.

Barbour raced home on Zack Smith's single to right-center field, which knotted the contest at 3-all. Smith was gunned down at second base to end the inning.

Before its game-changing surge, Post 11 had left the bases loaded in the previous inning and stranded 10 runners overall.

"Swinging at bad pitches, could have had way more walks than we did, we just weren't hitting the ball," Faucette said of the team's offensive futility. "The last time we faced them, the same thing happened."

Wayne County right-hander Reed Howell recorded his second 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, and his teammates gave him the lead for good in the eighth.

Adam Pate (3-for-5) connected on a two-out double and scored when the Post 13 infield booted Garrett Joyner's hard grounder. Joyner stole second and took third on an error, but was left stranded after an inning-ending groundout.

Howell, who scattered seven hits, walked the lead-off batter in the eighth and gave the game ball to stopper Bryant Stafford. The left-hander wiggled out of an eighth-inning jam and denied Wilson's bid for a regular-season sweep.

"You always have to throw strikes, throw your off-speed pitches for strikes," Stafford said. "I just adjusted, got up there and filled the strike zone, dared them to hit it."

Wilson (3-8, 2-6) seized a 3-0 lead on two first-inning errors and Nick Cole's RBI single in the fifth. Wayne County managed just three hits in the first six innings combined, overcame a base-running mistake and a rally-killing double play.

"We stole one," Post 11 head coach Jason Sherrer said. "I don't think we played well enough to win and I don't want to take anything away from Reed because he did an outstanding job.

"I thought we gave away plenty of at-bats early on and had some at-bats where they got themselves out of huge innings by making defensive plays."