Kinston just wouldn’t go away.
Until Drew Spencer stepped to the plate.
The Wayne Country Day standout delivered the game-deciding RBI, which spearheaded a sixth-inning rally and propelled the Wayne County Jets past Kinston, 8-4, on a balmy Monday evening.
Second-seeded Wayne County (15-7 overall) continues play today against top-seeded Garner Nationals in the season-ending Independent Summer League tournament. First pitch is 8 p.m. at the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park.
Kinston, the No. 3 seed, opposes Wilson in elimination-round play at 6 p.m. today.
After blowing a three-run advantage on defensive miscues in the top half of the sixth, the Jets promptly regained command.
Sam Rice (3-for-4) cranked out a lead-off double and scored on Spencer’s double. Spencer (2-for-3) raced home on Logan Price’s base knock to make it 6-4.
Price tagged up from third on Logan Merritt’s sacrifice fly to center field. Tanner Capps, who singled earlier in the inning, scampered to the plate on a Kinston error.
The Jets led 8-4.
Kinston loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but reliever Adam Brogden induced a game-ending, infield groundout. Brogden logged his third save of the season.
Barton commit Josh Hartsfield started and picked up the no-decision. He retired seven Battleship hitters by strikeout, yielded two runs (two earned) on two hits and five walks.
Carter Gipson claimed the pitching win with 1 2/3 innings of three-strikeout, one-hit relief.
The longtime rivals combined for seven errors. Each team stranded nine runners on base.