BASEBALL -- NB @ E. Wayne
By Justin Hayes
Published in Sports on March 18, 2017 11:25 PM
Decisions made in haste often sting.
Such was the case Friday for the Eastern Wayne varsity baseball team, whose read-react nature formed the substantive basis of a puzzling, 7-1 home loss to Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference foe New Bern.
The setback kept EW winless on the season.
New Bern broke open a scoreless affair in its half of the fourth inning, when EW's play-making instincts got the better of its prudence. After reaching on a base knock to center field, junior second baseman Davis Balentine was plated on a crisp single from starting pitcher Jamie Winfield.
Their work was followed in short order by a damaging EW throwing error and a triple by 6-holer Zach Long, who scored seconds later when first baseman Jay Pike ripped a lunar blast to deep center field.
In a blink, New Bern had a 3-0 lead -- one it wouldn't relinquish.
"It's not so much the play," first-year EW skipper Walker Gourley said of his team's across-the-diamond faux pas. "It's the play after the play -- even if it's successful -- we'll try to make a play that's not there."
Such was the case a frame later, and once more in the sixth, when his club committed three more throwing miscues that ushered four New Bern runs across the plate.
The gaffes created a wide berth on the scoreboard and seemed to inspire confidence in Winfield, a brisk-working righty who proved sturdy on the hill. En route to collecting the victory, the sophomore allowed no runs, scattered five hits and struck out five.
Winfield also paced New Bern at the plate, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Eastern Wayne was led offensively by left fielder Drew Barnes, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman Landon Ginn finished the contest 2-for-4, while Jay Wiseman added a pair of hits for the Warriors.
Unfortunately, the effort wasn't enough to form an all-conquering, one-for-the-ages rally.
"We had good energy early, and Tanner had his best stuff," Gourley noted. "But that one inning (fourth) extended... we should have been back in the dugout, swinging the bat."
New Bern improved to 4-3 on the season, and evened its league mark at 1-1. The Warriors, whose youthful exuberance is enduring a steep learning curve, will attempt to collect their first triumph under Gourley next Tuesday at home versus North Lenoir.
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