In another game that lasted over three hours, Wayne County Post 11 emerged victorious in its Area I East opener against Kinston Post 43.
Will Albert hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Post overcame multiple deficits to defeat Kinston 11-10.
“I was very proud of the boys,” Wayne County Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said. “Our bench played well. Relief pitching could’ve been better at times, but collectively was still really good.
“I was happy that we could pull out a win with some timely hitting.”
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Campbell Cunningham blasted a home run to tie the game. However, Kinston would build up a 5-1 lead in the top of fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, Post 11 mounted its second rally of the game.
Rowan Watt hit an RBI single, while Tanner Capps was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to cut Kinston’s lead down to 5-3.
Justin Holland then hit an RBI single, and Albert scored off a wild pitch to tie things up at 5-5. Post 11 then took its first lead of the game when Capps scored off another wild pitch.
And in the bottom of the sixth, Cunningham, Carson Gipson, and Albert all hit singles to load the bases. Capps then hit a bases-clearing double to push Post 11 ahead 9-5.
“I think it was going to be hard for us to lose this game the moment we took the lead like we did in the sixth before we gave up it back to them, obviously,” Pate said. “When we took the lead, it was kind of our wake-up call offensively. Guys stepped up. Will Pennington did a bunch of different things that he hadn’t been called to do.”
But Kinston battled back in the top of the seventh and managed to tie the game, and after Post 11 was unable to score any runs in the bottom of the inning, the game was sent into extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Kinston took a 10-9 lead in the top of the inning, but for the third time in the game, Post 11 rallied.
Cunningham, who got on base five times in the game, was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Playing in his first game of the summer, Logan Merritt then got on base, while Will Harris was intentionally walked to load the bases.
“Campbell Cunningham came up big at plate. He got on base every time. He hit that big home run early in the game and pitched as well,” Pate said. “Anderson Clucas was very good in relief.
“I was very proud of all of our kids.”
Cunningham scored off another RBI single from Watt. Albert then stepped up to the plate and delivered a walk-off single.
“I’m very happy for Will because he’s as good of a kid that comes. He works his but off, so you love to see guys that like that get rewarded with certain moments like that,” Pate said.
Wayne County next takes on Cary Post 67 in non-conference action tonight at Rosewood High School.