Fuquay-Varina Post 116 finished off Wayne County Post 11 3-2 in game three of the Area I West finals on Friday night.
Post 116 advances to face Pitt County Post 39 for the Area I division title. That series begins on Tuesday evening in Fuquay-Varina. As the host, Post 116 is guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, which begins July 23, at Campbell University. Pitt County locked up its berth in the state tournament by reaching the Area I finals.
Wayne County’s path to the state tournament now includes a series with Kinston Post 43, which begins at 7 on Tuesday evening, at the C35 baseball complex.
“We’ve got this last chance to get to the state tournament,” Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said. “We feel good about it. We hope we can get our mojo back and reset.”
Fuquay-Varina outscored Wayne County by just seven runs throughout the three-game sweep, and all three contests were decided by three runs or fewer. At the same time, a Post 11 offense that had scored seven runs or more 21 times this summer, averaged just over two runs per game in the series with Post 116.
“I was not disappointed,” Pate said. “Our kids played well and I love the way they competed. We were in every ballgame until the end. Hopefully we can score a few more runs, and score some runs earlier and take some pressure off of us late in games.”
Wayne County won both meetings with Kinston during the regular season. Both of Post 11’s games with Post 43 were decided by three runs or fewer.
“We always have good games with (Kinston),” Pate said. “They’re always tight games. Hopefully we’re able to swing the bats well and score some runs early. You hope to play your best baseball late in the year. As hot as we were early in the season, you can kind of wonder if we’re going to play the same way late in the year. Hopefully we can turn it around. We have another opportunity, we’ll see what that can do for us.”