Eastern Wayne's early surge too much for South Lenoir
LA GRANGE — Eastern Wayne wasn't going to give South Lenoir a break early.
The Warriors scored their runs in the first three innings, defeating the Blue Devils 8-1 Monday in the North Lenoir Easter Tournament. South Lenoir (4-11) had its moments late, but ultimately dropped its 10th in the past 11 games.
The Blue Devils take on Southern Wayne Tuesday at 3 p.m. at North Lenoir.
"We didn't have the enthusiasm," Blue Devils coach David Combs said. "When we've got that, we can play with anyone and it wasn't there early."
The Warriors (13-7) picked up an RBI single from Wesley Case in the top of the first before an error plated a second run. Eastern Wayne added a pair in the second on a 2-run single from Sam Rice, then exploded for four an inning later. An RBI double from Ryan Sullivan, Josh Gross RBI single and a second 2-run hit from Rice put the Warriors ahead 8-0.
"I talked to the guys before the game about how our focus has to be on playing well early," Eastern Wayne coach Randall Fields said. "From this point forward, we have to treat every game like a playoff game and this helped because we hadn't played since Thursday and couldn't practice Friday because we were out of school."
South Lenoir staunched the bleeding by stalling several Eastern Wayne scoring opportunities after the third. The Blue Devils picked up a run in the bottom of the fourth on a wild pitch, but it wasn't enough.
"We were able to get some good punchouts and popups later on," Combs said. "Gavin (Harrell) did a nice job (pitching in relief) and we were able to find a rhythm."
South Lenoir's game with Southern Wayne will be the Tull Hill Farms Game of the Week. The broadcast will start at approximately 2:50 p.m. and can be found at facebook.com/neusenews.