Wayne County starting pitcher Will Pennington steps toward the Wilson County batter as he is about to release the baseball.

Wayne County Post 11 defeated Wilson County Post 13 by a score of 7-4 on Thursday night.

Thursday night’s game started off as a defensive battle, with starting pitchers from each team bringing their A-game on the mound.

For Post 11, pitcher Will Pennington, who started the game, gave up zero earned runs and recorded two strikeouts before he was replaced in the third inning. Tyler Thompson entered the game in the top of the third inning to replace Pennington, and he had similar success in the two innings he pitched. In the third and the fourth inning, Thompson didn’t allow a single runner to cross home plate.

The first run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning from Post 11’s Sam Rice who came into score because of a fielding error. The next run for Wayne County came from Logan Merritt who used his incredible speed to steal home to give Post 11 a 2-0 lead. Wayne County extended its lead even further with a run from Braedon Collins who came into score because of an RBI double hit by Austin Booth. At the top of the fifth inning, Wayne County once again changed pitchers. This time, Hunter Theriac took over at the mound. Theriac only remained in the game for one and one-third innings because of Wayne County’s strategy to give multiple pitchers a chance to get to play in their final game before the playoffs.

Theriac was pulled from the game with one out in the sixth inning and replaced by Cohen Waddell. Waddell finished the inning and was able to keep Wayne County’s 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Collins increased Wayne County’s lead even further when he came home on a throwing error by a Wilson County infielder.

Will Harris scored next for Wayne County in the inning when he came home off a wild pitch.

Wayne County made its final two runs of the inning and took a 7-0 lead with a 2-RBI double from Will Albert.

In the top of the seventh inning, Wilson County Post 13 made a strong comeback attempt and scored a total of four runs in the inning, but the deficit was too much to overcome, with the final score at 7-4 in favor of Wayne County.

Head coach Adam Pate said that the strategy for the team going into the game was to rotate pitchers throughout the game. Pate said he was happy the team was able to use the strategy to win the game and get ready for the playoffs.

“I was really proud of our pitchers tonight,” Pate said. “The pitching staff knew we were doing that coming into the game after we had clinched first place (in the previous game), so we just wanted to get a bunch of guys some work on the mound. All of the pitchers did a good job when they came up to the mound in different situations.”

With the win, Wayne County Post 11 finished the regular season with a record of 19-4.

They will play again on Monday in the first round of the Legion baseball playoffs at Rosewood High School baseball field against an opponent to be decided.