WINTERVILLE - Wayne County Post 11 claimed its third consecutive regular-season sweep of nemesis Pitt County Post 39 in dramatic fashion Monday evening.
Justin Holland mashed a go-ahead home run and Davis Albert provided the game-deciding RBI in a 13-12, eight-inning victory on the Minges-Overton Complex diamond.
Post 11 clinched the Area I East regular-season crown and No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs, which begin Monday with a play-in game between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds. The play-in winner travels to Wayne County (18-4 overall, 7-0 East) on Tuesday to launch the double-elimination portion of the week-long tournament.
The division champ qualifies for the state tournament.
Wayne County 13, Pitt County 12 (8 inn.)
How it happened: Holland swatted a first-pitch strike to left-center field to lead off the eighth inning. Drew Spencer doubled to right field and scored on Albert’s grounder to right field. Albert collected just his eighth RBI of the season.
Key moment: Anderson Clucas provided 1 2/3 innings of one-hit, two-strikeout relief to earn the mound win.
Offensive leaders: Rowan Watt 1-5, Will Albert 1-3 (RBI), Justin Holland 2-4 (HR, RBI), Drew Spencer 1-4, Logan Merritt 1-4 (RBI), Braeden Collins 4-for-5 (3 RBI), Davis Albert 2-4 (RBI), Sam Rice 1-1, Campbell Cunningham RBI.
Coach Adam Pate said: “[I] was very proud of our guys and the way they battled tonight. We found a way to win. They stayed confident when the momentum swung to the other side and continued to bounce back no matter what was thrown at them. There were a few huge performances by several players. But this is the definition of a team.”
Notable stat: Wayne County is 91-78 all-time against Post 39.
Next game: Thursday, vs. Wilson Post 13 at Rosewood HS, 7 p.m.