Wayne County forces third game
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on July 8, 2013 1:47 PM
GREENVILLE -- Another opportunity to shake off some rust turned into a chance for Wayne County to build some momentum.
Playing for just the second time since June 26, Post 11 kept its season alive with an 11-5 victory over Pitt County Post 39 in the Area I East Division playoffs on Sunday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The best-of-three series concludes this evening at Mount Olive College. First pitch is 7 p.m.
Wayne County pounded out 10 hits and walked 11 times while left-hander Bryant Stafford tossed six solid innings. Ryan Faucette tallied three hits and Duane Gurganus and Garrett Joyner each had two hits.
"We finally came out with some intensity and some enthusiasm to get after it and it showed early on and throughout the whole game," Post 11 head coach Jason Sherrer said. "We put it on them late in the game (Saturday) and we kind of carried that momentum over to today. It was good to see our guys come out and carry over the confidence."
Post 39 strung together three two-out singles in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle Cross' RBI single gave Pitt County a 1-0 lead Wayne County answered with RBI singles from Ashton Cox and Chad Murphy in the top of the second inning. Murphy was thrown out at home on Joyner's single to end the inning.
Back-to-back bases-loaded walks by Kevin Williams and Jacob Sasser in the top of the third inning increased Post 11's lead to 4-1. Chad Murphy was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Aaron Clark's RBI single in the bottom of the third inning pulled Pitt County to within 4-2.
Wayne County (14-6) broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Ashton Cox drew a bases-loaded walk. Faucette raced home on a wild pitch and Justin Barbour scored on Williams' groundout. Sasser provided an RBI single to put Post 11 ahead 9-2.
"We stayed out of the air as far as not hitting so many fly balls and we put pressure on them with some ground balls and bunts," Sherrer said. "We took advantage of some hit by pitches and some walks so I think that's what we've got to do is take every advantage we have and go for it."
Post 39 (6-6) got a run back on Gray Dixon's sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning. Pitt County threatened with the bases loaded and two outs before Tyler Garrett grounded out to end the threat.
In his first start of the summer, Stafford surrendered three earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Stafford helped preserve a bullpen that could play a pivotal role in tonight's decisive game three. Greg Johnson pitched three innings of relief. Rosewood hurler Reed Howell is expected to get the start on the mound tonight.
"Stafford was fresh and in a win or go home situation we're going at it with our best guy," Sherrer said. "He really pitched well and gave us a good chance to win. Most of the guys in the bullpen are ready to go for (Monday) and the only guys that are shutdown are (Cody) Wendorf and Stafford."
Wayne County saw its lead shrink to 9-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Post 39 used a Post 11 error and Matt Sugg's RBI single to push across a pair of runs.
Joyner tacked on an RBI single in the top of the ninth to extend Wayne County's lead to 10-5. Zack Smith added a sacrifice fly.
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