WENDELL — The Warriors didn’t make it easy on themselves in the second game of a doubleheader against Enloe, but used two seven-run innings in the first and sixth to salvage a split on Friday night with a 15-11 win.
After dropping the first game, 5-4, to the Eagles, East Wake went on the offensive to leave each team at 1-1 on the early summer season. Warriors coach Derek Matthews believes the back-and-forth nature of both games was due to inexperience.
“We’ve got a lot of people playing that haven’t played at the varsity level,” Matthews said. “We’ve called some people up to see how they perform and overall we hit the ball well tonight.”
The Warriors jumped out to a seven run lead in the first inning thanks to four straight RBI hits by Jason Dean, Marquez Holden, Landon Cantin and Rick Tant to go along with a two-out, two-RBI single by Justin Torres.
Then their bats went silent, allowing Enloe to stage a comeback. The Eagles scored at least one run in every inning and used a three-run third that was started by two errors and RBIs by Austin King, Charles Hinton and Jarrett Moore to tie the score at seven heading to the top of the sixth inning.
“We got sloppy defensive wise in that game,” Matthews said. “We just can’t make those mental mistakes that allowed them to score some easy runs.”
Turning point: In the sixth frame, the Warriors once again found their swing to the tune of another seven-run inning. This time, it was Eric Pittard who hit a RBI double and was driven in by Paschal Ammons’ two-run single.
Holden then singled to drive in Ammons and scored on the next play on an infield single by Cantin. By the end of the inning the Warriors held a 14-7 lead, but would see that window close yet again when the Eagles put up four more runs over the next two innings.
While he was not happy about taking the loss, Enloe coach DeAngelo Hall was happy with the character of his team.
“I was very proud of the fight that our guys showed to get back,” Hall said. “We battled and made it close. We’ve spent the last two years trying to convince our guys to do what this team just did. Now, finally the kids are showing that fight and not letting the score dictate the outcome.”
Putting up numbers: Coley Mizzell, Ammons and Holden each filled their roles perfectly Friday night. Mizzell got on base in all four of his plate appearances from the leadoff spot, going 1-for-1 with a single, three walks, two runs and two stolen bases.
Ammons, the cleanup hitter, and No. 6 hitter Holden combined for four runs and four RBIs. Holden, a sophomore, went 3-for-3 in just his second game playing alongside mostly varsity players.
Though the run total suggested Warrior starter Jason Dean was roughed up, he allowed just one earned run through four innings with four strikeouts. The costly errors behind him were what allowed the other five runs that took place while he was toeing the rubber.
Zach Shearin and King paced the Eagles by combining to go 3-for-4 with a triple, four RBIs and four runs.
Odd statistic: Austin Dickens, who hit in the No. 3 spot in the lineup for East Wake, came to the plate four times, but never recorded a plate appearance. The rising senior was plunked all four times and never scored because he was replaced by a pinch runner twice while he was pitching.
Smith: 919-829-4841; Twitter: @RCorySmith