Post 11 rallies twice, defeats Area I East nemesis
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 25, 2014 1:48 PM
DUDLEY -- Somebody forgot to turn off the Faucette.
Ryan Faucette's two-out, solo home run ignited a sixth-inning uprising as Wayne County Post 11 seized a pivotal, 7-5 victory over nemesis Kinston Post 43 on a balmy Tuesday evening.
Post 11 remained atop the Area I East Division standings at 6-2 -- one-half game ahead of two-time defending champ Pitt County. Kinston dropped into a third-place tie with Wilson.
"We spoke before the game and we try not to make each game bigger than the last or the next, but we knew if we take care of business we're in the driver's seat as far as the playoffs," said WC head coach Jason Sherrer, whose team clinched a postseason berth.
"The whole game was a fight. Their guys put some good swings on some pitches and made it interesting the entire game."
Kinston couldn't hang on to a pair of two-run leads.
A throwing error on a bunt single kept Post 43 alive during a two-run fifth inning, which pushed it ahead 3-1.
Post 11 left-hander Greg Johnson ran into trouble again in the sixth, and departed with two runners aboard and two outs. Zach Rasberry lined a two-RBI single up the middle against reliever Jackson Hayes to make it 5-3.
"The kid stayed on a breaking ball and hit it well," Sherrer said.
Wayne County (8-4-1 overall) answered during its next at-bat.
Post 43 reliever Luke Jackson retired the first two batters he faced, but left a fastball up in the strike zone against Faucette. The Eastern Wayne grad deposited it over the center field fence for his second home run of the season.
Zack Smith walked, took second on a wild pitch and tallied the game-tying run on Chad Spurgeon's single up the middle. One batter later, Noah West hit a chopper that bounced over the second baseman and into shallow right field.
Spurgeon scored to make it 6-5.
Kevin Williams extended Wayne County's lead to 7-5 with an RBI double in the seventh. Williams, Faucette and Smith concluded the night with two hits apiece.
"Both teams competed very well and did a great job out there," Post 43 skipper Ronnie Battle said. "I thought at one time we had their pitcher in serious trouble, but a couple of things happened that took us out of it.
"But this game lets us know that we're a playoff team and that's what we're working for (this week)."
The teams combined to leave 23 runners on base and bat 8 for 25 with men in scoring position. Post 43 left the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings.
Hayes provided 3 1/3 innings of two-hit, three-strikeout relief and claimed his third decision in four attempts this season. Johnson started and yielded five runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings on the bump.
Post 43 left-hander Ben Brann, a rising sophomore at Barton, worked four innings and earned a no-decision. The Greene Central alum surrendered just four hits, but walked six batters and struck out three in a 91-pitch outing.
Wayne County swept Kinston (7-6, 2-3) in regular-season play for the first time since 2008, and leads the all-time series 65-28.
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