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Well into the second game of Saturday afternoon’s Wilson-Edenton American Legion baseball doubleheader in Fleming Stadium, right-handed pitcher Josh Fuller learned his Wilson team had not allowed a run in the last 20-plus innings.
Fuller, a product of Hunt High, happened to be Post 13’s starting pitcher in the second game.
“I wanted to keep it going,” Fuller remarked of Wilson’s shutout string.
Thus, Fuller responded with a six-inning shutout, allowing only two hits, as Wilson walked off with a 10-0 Area I East Division triumph of Post 40.
Wilson claimed the opener 3-0 behind a two-hit gem from left-hander and recent Fike graduate Tanner Sullivan.
In shutting down Post 40 for 14 innings Saturday, Wilson pitchers have not been scored upon in the last 23 1/3 innings. Wilson allowed its last run last Sunday with two outs in the second inning against Wallace.
For the first time since 1946, a Wilson American Legion team has posted three consecutive shutouts. The feat occurred Saturday for just the second time in the 70-year history of Wilson American Legion baseball and for the first time during the continuous 52 years of the program.
“We are playing really good defense and the pitching is coming around,” expressed pleased Post 13 Athletic Officer Bob Walston. “And the 10 guys we have are really enjoying being out here; that’s all that matters.”
Post 13 played its second and third games of the week with just 10 players. Edenton started the afternoon with 11 players but was left with 10 after starting pitcher Michael Allen lasted just one inning because of elbow problems.
The fifth consecutive win vaulted Post 13 above .500 for the first time this season at 6-5 and it faces three games next week with a 4-4 division mark.
Edenton, which will play just one home game the entire season, plunged to 2-7 in the division.
Wilson head coach Noah Edens and his staff could find little about which to complain after Sullivan and Fuller hurled shutouts; the defense did not commit an error in two games; and strikeouts by Wilson hitters totaled just two in 14 innings.
Post 13 walked off in the second game via the 10-run rule with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Right fielder Trey Dail ended the encounter with a run-scoring double. Four Edenton pitchers yielded 11 walks.
“It was good to win both games,” Edens commented. “Winning both games was mighty important. If you play like that, you put yourself in position to win a lot of games. I hope it continues.”
Sullivan, in seven innings, issued three walks and struck out eight. In six innings, Fuller allowed three walks and struck out six. Sullivan needed 106 pitches and Fuller 86.
“I did really good,” Sullivan reviewed. “I had to change by cleats because I kept slipping, After that, I did a lot better. (Shortstop) Dom (Gaetano) made good plays behind me. Nobody made any errors — which is unusual.
“My fastball and curve worked really well. I usually don’t throw well the first inning but, today, it happened. I was a little surprised.
“Then, Josh came in behind me and finished the job.”
Said Fuller: “I had good defense behind me and just tried to keep (pitches) down. I was throwing a fastball, slider and curve ball I got ahead in the count with my fastball and slider … then I could throw the curve.”
Each Wilson pitcher escaped one serious threat.
In the fifth inning of the first game, Edenton designated hitter Wes Privott led off with a triple. However, Sullivan registered a strikeout for the first out. After a one-out walk, Post 40 catcher Garrett Stulick hit a bouncer to Post 13 third baseman Fuller. Fuller’s throw to the plate easily nailed the breaking Privott. Another strikeout ended the threat.
“After the triple, I just told myself ‘don’t try to do too much,’ “ Sullivan said. “But when I got the strikeout …”
Fuller, in the second game, yielded a lead-off double to losing pitcher Wolfie Schulz in the top of the second. But a strikeout sandwiched around two infield grounders left Schulz stranded at third. Fuller preserved the shutout after yielding a walk and a single to open the sixth.
“I was trying to work backwards and was not really concerned about giving up a run,” Fuller commented. “I was still trying to challenge hitters and attack them. It worked out.”
The appreciative Edens assured: “Both pitchers did a great job. Right now, we’re really thin with our pitching. It’s mighty important when they can go the distance. As long as we play the glove and don’t walk folks, we’ll be all right.”
In Game 1, Post 13 struck for two runs in the first on a walk, Fuller’s single, Sullivan’s RBI double and second baseman Ty Narron’s infield single. In the fourth, Narron was hit by a pitch, stole second and crossed home plate on Fuller’s fielder’s choice.
Wilson, in Game 2, blended five walks, Sullivan’s single, catcher Austin Slate’s RBI double and center fielder Payton Bass’ sacrifice fly in the four-run first inning..Sullivan, in the second, singled, stole second and third bases and scored. Second baseman Mason Lee singled in a fifth-inning run and, in the sixth, left fielder Jamar Ellis’ triple and Narron’s singte preceded Dail’s walk-off double.
Wilson seeks revenge when it welcomes Farmville Post 151 at 7 p.m. Monday in Fleming Stadium.
Score by innings:
Edenton 000 000 0 — 0
Wilson 200 100 x — 3
WP-Tanner Sullivan 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO. LP-Michael Allen 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Wilson: Ty Narron 1-2, RBI, Jamar Ellis 1-2, Austin Slate 1-3, Tanner Sullivan 1-4, 2B, RBI, Josh Fuller 1-4, RBI; Edenton: Edenton: Ben Ward 1-3, 2B, Wes Privott 1-3, 3B.
Score by innings:
Edenton 000 000 0 — 0
Wilson 411 013 0 — 10
WP-Josh Fuller (2-2) 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO. LP-Wolfie Schulz 3 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Wilson: Tanner Sullivan 2-3, RBI, Jamar Ellis 2-3, 2B, RBI, Mason Lee 1-2, 3 RBI, Tyler Narron 1-2, RBI; Edenton: Wolfie Schulz 1-3, 2B, Justin Winslow 1-2.