ASHEBORO - Wayne County occasionally flashed some leather on defense and scattered a few hits here and there, but couldn’t solve its opponent Saturday afternoon.
Perennial power Randolph County defeated the Jets 12-7 and 5-2 at scenic McCrary Park.
“I was pleased with how we played overall today,” said WC head coach Adam Pate, whose team has dropped four of its last five outings.
“[We] came up short, but it was great for our kids to play great competition at a very nice facility. We did a lot of things well, but just came up short both games.”
Randolph County has won three consecutive American Legion Senior Baseball regional championships - the Southeast in 2017 and 2018, and Mid-Atlantic in 2019.
Wayne County seized a 4-0 lead in the top half of the third inning.
Lead-off batter Will Uzzell was hit by a pitch and advanced to second base on Clay Matthews’ groundout to first.
With two outs on the board, Will Albert singled and moved Uzzell to third. Uzzell scored on Drew Spencer’s two-strike base knock into left field.
Albert and Spencer both raced home on Rowan Watt’s double into right-center field. Watt stole third base, induced an errant throw on the play and extended the Jets’ lead to 4-0.
Randolph County answered with a seven-run outburst in the bottom half of the fourth and never relinquished its advantage.
The Jets (12-5) closed the gap to 9-7 in the sixth.
Spencer and Watt led Wayne County’s offense with two hits apiece. Albert, Sam Rice, Logan Merritt and Rett Johnson (two RBI) each contributed one hit.
Josh Hartsfield took the mound loss.
Down 1-0 through two innings, the Jets took a 2-1 lead in the third.
Spencer connected on a two-out single and moved into scoring position on Watt’s double. Both runners scored on a passed ball.
After that short burst, just three Wayne County runners reached base over the final four innings. Randolph County’s pitchers logged five strikeouts during that stretch.
Again, Spencer and Watt emerged as the Jets' offensive leaders with two hits each. Johnson and Tanner Capps each provided one hit.
Tyler Thompson was saddled with the loss.
Wayne County (12-5 overall) returns home Monday for a 8 p.m. contest at the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park.