GOLDSBORO - Two outs.
Game-winning run at third.
Twilight fading into sunset at the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park.
Charleston Skinner stepped into the batter’s box and stroked the game-winning single to left side, which lifted the Mount Olive Green Machine to a 7-6, eight-inning conquest of Raketown on Tuesday evening.
Borrowed earlier in the day from the Wayne County Jets, Alex Davis started the Machine’s decisive rally with a base knock. Zack Heath walked and Jackson Lewis connected on a base hit to load the bases for Wyatt Womble.
Womble grounded out, which led to controversy.
The home plate umpire called Davis safe and the Raketown bench erupted in protest. After a short discussion, it was overturned and called a force out.
Mount Olive’s next batter struck out.
Skinner followed with the game-clinching RBI single and gave the Machine its second victory of the season.
Davis, Richard Noble and Carter Smith each had solid outings on the bump for Mount Olive. Eastern Wayne rising senior Noah Walker threw a perfect eighth and earned the pitching win.
Kyle Holland’s bases-loaded triple shaved Raketown’s lead to 4-3 in the third. The Machine remained within striking distance and moved ahead 6-5 on hits from Noble, Holland and Jackson Lewis.
Defensive miscues allowed Raketown to forge a 6-6 tie before Skinner’s heroics in the eighth.
“All we can ask for each player is to do their job and everybody did that tonight,” said MO assistant coach Dakota Leeper.