BASEBALL 1

Wayne County’s Tanner Capps makes contact with the ball as he looks to drive in a run.

Wayne County Post 11 defeated Pitt County Post 39 Tuesday night in battle that came down to the seventh inning.

In the top of the first inning, Pitt County was up to bat first, and they started off the game by getting runners on first and second base with only one out.

After Wayne County pitcher Braedon Collins walked a batter, he then allowed a single.

On the next at-bat, Collins forced a ground ball that looked to be a double play, but after the third baseman stepped on third base, he overthrew the first baseman, which allowed the runner from first base to make the rounds into home plate to score.

After the fielding error, Collins then walked back-to-back batters to load the bases. When the pressure was on, Collins was able to force a groundout for the third out to escape the inning.

When Wayne County came up to bat, they had their best offensive inning of the game.

Rowan Watt was the first batter up for Post 11, and he started off the inning by hitting a single.

Will Albert followed by hitting a double to put runners on second and third base.

The first two runs of the game were scored in the next at-bat when Tanner Capps hit a two-RBI double.

The double gave Post 11 a 2-1 lead with no outs in the bottom of the first inning.

Capps came into score on the next play with an RBI single from Justin Holland that extended the Wayne County lead to 3-1.

The last run of the inning was scored by Holland who came home with an RBI single from Will Harris, which gave Wayne County a 4-1 lead to end the first inning.

When Pitt County came up to bat in the top of the second inning, they picked up where they left off in the first inning by quickly loading the bases with just one out.

All three batters got on base because of walks, which resulted from Collins struggling to find the strike zone.

Collins was then able to work his way out of trouble, and he forced back-to-back, pop-up outs to end the inning.

In the next two innings, both teams were able to hold the other to only one run each with outstanding pitching and defense. Going into the fifth inning, the score was 5-2 in Wayne County’s favor.

At the top of the fifth inning, Collins was removed from the game due to a high pitch count, and Carson Gipson was chosen to replace him on the mound, with no outs and a runner on first.

Gipson came into the game and quickly recorded two outs before allowing a single that advanced the runner from first to third base. He allowed another single in the next at-bat, and the runner from third was able to come home to cut the score to two runs at 3-5.

Collins was able to get out of trouble by forcing a pop-up to end the inning.

Wayne County’s struggle on offense continued in the fifth and sixth innings.

Going into the seventh inning, the game remained at 5-3.

Gipson started off the seventh inning strong with two quick outs after allowing no runs in the sixth inning.

When the third batter came up to the plate, he walked him to first base after failing to hit the strike zone on four pitches.

The next batter that Gipson faced was able to hit a single. With the game on the line, Gipson was able to strike the final Pitt County batter out to earn a 5-3 win for Wayne County.

Wayne County Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said he was proud of the way Collins and Gipson came up big for their team in the most important moments of the game, even when they didn’t have their best performances of the season.

“I was really proud of our pitchers. Even when they didn’t pitch their best, they found a way to battle,” Pate said. “They played well, and they kept us in the game. We walked too many, but we still only gave up three runs, so I’m proud of those two.”

With the win, Wayne County Post 11 improves to 14-4 this season.