Wayne County Post 11 did what it usually does in its 6-2 victory against Fuquay-Varina Post 116 Saturday night — wore down its opponent with dependable defense, solid pitching and enough hitting to take control of a game.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Wayne County manufactured four runs off five hits and two walks in the victory.
“We played against a really good team,” Wayne County Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said. “That team (Fuquay-Varina) is really good, they’re the number one seed in Area I West, so I was glad we could play them and play somebody out of our division.
“The guys are playing well. This team really enjoys being around each other, and it’s fun to be around them when they just want to play and win.”
Case Kermode’s RBI ground out gave Post 11 the first run of the game, but Post 11 was unable to manufacture any runs in the second and third innings. Wayne County had zero base runners in the second and third innings.
But Wayne County made sure to capitalize on its scoring chances in the fourth and sixth innings. Post 11 tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Will Albert stole third base and later scored on a passed ball.
“Will Albert stole a big important base, that kind of thing goes unnoticed. He did a great job of stealing a base and finding some momentum for us,” Pate said. “A stolen base, a passed ball, that’s the kind of stuff gets you back on track.”
In the top of the fifth inning, with one out and a runner in scoring position, Post 11 turned a double play that kept runs off the board and got the team out of the inning.
Post 11 took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“We had some really good at-bats at the right time,” Pate said.
Kermode and Blake Gipson both hit singles which set the table for Tanner Capps, who stroked a two-RBI double to make it a 4-2 game.
Four batters later, with runners on second and third, Blake Dilda cranked out a two-RBI triple that pushed the score to its final margin. Fuquay-Varina failed to threaten in the bottom of the seventh inning. Will Harris, who pitched the sixth and seventh innings, earned the win on the mound with three straight fly outs.
Kermode finished the game 2-3 with an RBI and stole two bases, Gipson also stole two bases and was 2-2 from the plate with an RBI and a walk, while Clay Matthews went 2-4 and two stolen bases.
No. 2 Wayne County (22-6 overall) will take on No. 3 Pitt Post 29 (18-6 overall) in the second round of the Area I East Division playoffs on Tuesday.