KINSTON — Wayne County Post 11 defeated Kinston Post 43 by a score of 7-2 on Thursday night to earn revenge after falling to them twice earlier this season.
With an 8-1 loss against Kinston on Sunday, as well as a 3-2 loss to Kinston on May 26 in the rear-view mirror, Post 11 came out looking like a team that was hungry for victory.
That hunger propelled Post 11 from the very start, and they opened up the top of the first inning by earning two runs to take an early 2-0 lead. The first run was scored by Lane McClean thanks to a good bunt from Braeden Collins that forced the Kinston pitcher into committing a throwing error.
The second run of the game occurred following a strikeout by Logan Merritt, which the Kinston catcher dropped. The catcher then recovered the dropped strike and threw it to first to earn the first out of the inning.
The catcher didn’t realize Collins took a big lead off of third base and by throwing the ball to first base for the out, he allowed Collins to come home and score.
After a strong first inning, Post 11 extended their lead to 3-0 thanks to a two-out RBI bunt single from McClean that scored Carter Aycock from third base. Following the bunt single, Wayne County loaded the bases with a walk from Collins. Post 11 was unable to capitalize on the bases loaded situation, as the next batter up for Wayne County, Logan Merritt, popped the ball up to third baseman.
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The failure to capitalize on the run cost Wayne County in the bottom of the same inning, when with runners on first and second base, Kinston batter Jon Howard hit a two-RBI single to cut the Wayne County lead to one.
With the game once again close, Wayne County needed to respond on offense if they wanted to take control of the game again, and they did just that by scoring two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-2 lead.
The rest of the game remained mostly a pitcher’s duel with the next run not coming until the top of the seventh inning, when Wayne County took a 6-2 lead. Post 11 went on to add one more run the top of the seventh to take a 7-2 lead before Carson Gipson closed the game out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Post 11 starting pitcher Will Pennington finished the game with only two runs allowed, and five strikeouts in earned in 4.2 innings pitched. Gipson who came into relieve Pennington in the fifth inning, finished the game with four strikeouts, and no runs allowed in 2.1 innings pitched.
With the win, Post 11 improved to 21-5 overall.