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GOLDSBORO — The third time was not the charm for the Wilson Post 13 American Legion baseball team in its Area I East postseason opener Monday night.
However, the second time through the order for host Wayne County Post 11 certainly was.
Wilson witnessed a 2-0 lead evaporate after three innings, and Tyler Sherrod’s fifth-inning home run was not enough to inject life into the Post 13 offense as the best-of-5 series opened with Wilson trailing following a 6-4 setback at Goldsboro High.
The second game of the series is set for Tuesday night at Fleming Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. Post 13 (6-8) has now dropped four in a row and five of its last six, presenting for Monday’s game with just 10 players.
“It seems like we always have that one inning,” first-year Post 13 head coach Noah Edens lamented. “(Wayne County) does a great job running the bases. They get runners on, and they score.”
The visitors grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second with back-to-back RBI singles from Parker Garris and starting Post 13 pitcher Josh Fuller. Yet Fuller ran into trouble in the fourth, yielding a solo home run to Jack Casbarro. Aryc Christman doubled as part of a three-run inning for Post 11.
In the fifth, Wilson tied it on Sherrod’s homer, his third of the season. However, Wayne County tacked on another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Trailing 6-3, Silas Gonzalez reached on an error, stole third and scored on a passed ball. But Wilson could threaten no further, and Casbarro, who tossed the final 2 1/3 innings in relief, finished the contest en route to being credited with the save.
Blake Gipson threw 4 2/3 innings for Wayne County, allowing six hits. Fuller gave up four hits through four innings for Wilson, striking out six and walking one. Gipson was 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs.
Alston Pittman, the expected Game 2 starter for Post 13, was 2 for 4 with a double. Fuller battled for his own cause, going 2 for 2 with a double and two runs batted in. Post 13 held an 8-6 advantage in hits and made two errors, compared to four for Post 11.
Score by innings:
Wilson 020 010 1 — 4
Wayne County 000 312 0 — 6
WP-Blake Gipson 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO LP-Josh Fuller 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO. S-Jack Casbarro.
LEADING HITTERS — Wilson: Alston Pittman 2-4, 2B, Tyler Sherrod 1-4, HR, RBI, Josh Fuller 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Wayne County:Aryc Christman 1-3, RBI, Jack Casbarro 1-4, HR, RBI, Blake Gipson 2-2, 2 RBI