One big inning offensively and a reliable pitching performance from Ryan Sullivan propelled Eastern Wayne to a senior night victory over county rival Southern Wayne.
The Warriors used a five-run, third-inning surge to topple Southern Wayne 6-1. With the win, the Warriors won their 12th game of the season and five of their past six games.
“The last time we had this many wins in a season was coach Fulghum’s last year when we went to the playoffs,” Eastern Wayne head coach Randall Fields said. “These kids have a chance to 14 or 15 wins this year minimum. They’ve really put the work in.”
Eastern Wayne took a 1-0 lead early in the game when Andrew Fricks hit his second home run of the year.
Southern Wayne tied the game in the top of the third inning. With a runner on base, Dylan Whitley delivered an RBI single, but the Saints were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
In the bottom of the third inning, Fricks and Will Uzzell drew walks. Wesley Case hit an RBI single to put the Warriors back on top. Uzzell then stole home base off a wild pitch, while Drew Barnes added an RBI single.
In an instant, the Warriors were up 4-1. The Warriors added two more runs in the inning to go up 6-1.
“When down against Goldsboro, we knew we were coming back. When we were down against Aycock twice, we just knew we had the ability to come back at any point,” Fields said. “This team is not afraid of being down two, three, four even five runs at a time because we have shown we can put up multiple runs in an inning.”
Southern Wayne attempted to rally, but the Saints were thwarted by Sullivan, who pitched a complete game and kept the Saints off balance all night. He ended with 12 strikeouts, struck out the side twice and gave up two hits. Sullivan also was 2-2 from the plate.
“We got an excellent performance from Ryan Sullivan on the mound,” Fields said. “He showed why tonight he’s going on to the next level.”
Fricks ended up going 1-2 with an RBI. Case finished the game 2-3 with an RBI, while Uzzell was 1-2 in the batter's box.
Southern Wayne was paced by Whitley, who went 1-3 with an RBI. In three and two-thirds innings of relief, Whitley threw five strikeouts, gave up four hits and zero runs.
Eastern Wayne (12-7 overall, 6-6 ECC) next plays South Lenoir on Monday, while Southern Wayne (3-15, 2-10) takes on Riverside on Saturday.
“I was talking to the kids, and I think one thing they can really take pride in is we don’t have a loss to a team who is ranked outside of the top 10 of our division. All seven of our losses came to top 10 ranked teams in their respective divisions, and that’s saying something. We can play with anybody.”