Moffett shuts door on Kinston

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Garrett Moffett’s two previous appearances on the small pitching mound didn’t turn out in his favor.

He needed some redemption.

The NC State commit earned it Monday evening.

Moffett posted a pair of seventh-inning strikeouts and logged the save during the Wayne County Jets’ 6-5 victory over the Kinston Battleship at Eastern Carolina Athletic Park.

“I’ve been blaming the mound…it’s a little mound,” Moffett said. “[But] don’t make excuses. Just go out there and do what you need to do, and that’s what I did. I tried to throw hard and throw strikes.”

The left-hander fanned the first batter he faced and induced an infield pop-up for the second out.

Moffett gave up two-strike single on a hanging slider, but sealed the outcome on a strikeout to Brigham Young-bound Trey McLawhorn.

“My mentality when I’m pitching is I’m the best player out there, like I’m the only one on the field. I control the game,” Moffett said. “If I hit my spots and I’m throwing what I want to throw when I want to throw it, I think I have the best chance to be successful.”

Moffett became the fifth different Jet to record a save this season.

Carter Gipson started and worked two innings for Wayne County, which improved to 13-5 overall. Adam Brogden carried the Jets into the sixth. Logan Merritt, who claimed the mound win, finished off the sixth to set the table for Moffett.

The quartet yielded five runs (one earned) on eight hits, issued three walks and registered eight strikeouts.

“Gipson had a good start, Brogden came in and faced a little adversity, but settled down to get us through the middle innings,” WC head coach Adam Pate said. “Moffett closing the door, that was really good to see, too.”

Kinston led 4-2 after three innings.

Catcher Braeden Collins (3-for-3, walk) led off the Jets’ fourth with a single. Will Harris and lead-off batter Clay Matthews each cranked out a base hit to load the bases.

Rowan Watt mashed a diamond-clearing triple to put Wayne County ahead 5-4. Kinston’s defense uncorked a couple of errant throws during the play.

Tied at 5-5 through six innings, Wayne County struck again in the seventh.

Will Albert (3-for-3) drew a lead-off walk, stole second and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Collins drove home Albert with a base knock to right field.

“I think we definitely stuck to our MO [modus operandi] of running and taking advantage of what we could,” Pate said. “And then Ro hits a bases-clearing triple, that was a big swing of momentum.”

The Jets finished with 13 hits. Drew Spencer cranked out two hits, walked and scored a run. Matthews, Watt, Sam Rice, Blake Dilda and Will Harris each had one hit.

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