During Wednesday night’s game against Clayton Post 71, it took a few innings for Wayne County Post 11 to shake off the cobwebs from Tuesday’s thrilling 2-1 victory against Wake Forest Post 187.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Tanner Willman stole home plate to help ignite Post 11’s fire as they rolled to an 8-2 decision over Clayton Post 71.
“Tanner scored our first run almost single-handedly,” Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said. “Overall, we did a great job all around.”
One inning later, Sam Rice’s RBI single tied the game 2-2.
Case Kermode and Blake Gipson both finished with three hits apiece, and Wayne County remained unbeaten in six outings. Gipson, the No. 4 batter in the order, finished 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Kermode also batted 3-4, while Rice (RBI) and Willman (RBI) each cranked out one hit. Clay Matthews was a spark in the lead-off spot, and Christian Yarbrough’s single in the fifth inning kick-started a three-run outburst.
“We’re doing a great job of whoever’s name is called that day to play, they’re doing a great job of going in and playing,” Pate said. “We also have great leadership at the top, Yarbrough, Kermode and Gipson, they’re all returners, and I think they’ve been great leaders.
“The heartbeat of our team right now is our leadership from older guys.”
With Post 11 up 3-2 after Yarbrough’s single, Gipson stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-run single that put Post 11 up 5-2.
Matthew Kornegay, Blake Dilda and Matthews all scored one run in the bottom of the sixth to push Post 11’s lead up to six runs.
“If you can just have a good at-bat and find a way to get to first, we’re going to score in some way, and that’s what our guys have been doing, finding ways to get walks and put the ball in play against good pitching, that’s all you can ask for,” Pate said.
Post 11 starter Ryan Sullivan permitted four hits in a five-inning stint. The Lenoir Community College signee gave up two runs in the first inning but allowed just two hits in his final three innings of work.
Braeden Collins and Wesley Case threw a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, respectively.
“Ryan Sullivan had a great start, and then we had two great relief pitchers come in,” Pate said. “Ryan did a great job of bouncing back after giving up those two runs against a good team.”