Mount Olive Green Machine earns walk-off win

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GOLDSBORO - Frustrated, tired, sweaty and down by a run during its last team at-bat, the Mount Olive Green Machine slipped into a higher gear Thursday evening.

Zach Heath drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded as the Machine claimed a 7-6, walk-off victory over the Garner Junior Nats in their Independent Summer League battle.

MO head coach Shane Aube didn’t think his team had anything left in the tank, especially when the Nats forged ahead 6-5 in the top half of the seventh inning.

“We found a way,” Aube said.

Noah Walker ignited the game-winning rally with a lead-off single. The Eastern Wayne product stole second and third, and watched teammate Lakota Robinson get plunked by the Nats’ pitcher.

Garner’s coaches decided to intentionally walk North Duplin’s Kyle Holland, who delivered a bases-clearing triple in his previous at-bat.

With the bases loaded, Connor Whiting connected on an RBI groundout to plate Walker and tie the game at 6-6.

The Nats intentionally walked Bubba Strickland to load the bases again, which set the table for Heath.

Right-hander Carson Jenkins filed seven strikeouts in the scorebook and earned a no-decision during his four-inning stint on the mound. Walker hurled two innings of four-strikeout relief.

Strickland toed the pitching rubber in the seventh and claimed the win.

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