BUIES CREEK - The last trip to Campbell University earlier this season wasn’t too pleasant for Wayne County Post 11.
Tyler Thompson made this visit more memorable.
The Lenoir Community College commit tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout as Wayne County cobbled out a 4-0 victory over Kinston Post 43 in their Area I East Division playoff game at Jim Perry Stadium.
Wayne County, the top seed, advances to play nemesis Pitt County 39 today. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Rosewood High School.
Thompson (4-0) has emerged as WC’s winning pitcher in three of the team’s last five outings. He fanned six Post 43 batters and threw 19 first-pitch strikes to 25 batters he faced.
“I hate this year’s format of double elimination because he’s done now [due to pitch count],” said Post 11 head coach Adam Pate, whose team dropped an embarrassing loss to Fuquay-Varina on their last trip to Campbell in mid-June.
“I hated to pull him because we gotta win one game at time and he definitely shut them down.”
Wayne County 4, Kinston 0
How it happened: Thompson sat down Kinston in order during the first two innings. Post 43 broke up his no-hit bid with consecutive singles from Trent King and Zach Taylor to start the fourth inning. Neither runner scored. Thompson retired seven straight Kinston batters after that point.
Key moment: Leading 1-0 through 2 1/2 innings, Wayne County gave Thompson a little breathing room in the third. Austin Booth drew a lead-off walk and raced to third on Will Albert’s line-drive double to right field. With two outs, Drew Spencer plated Booth and Albert with a single to center field.
Leading hitters: Rowan Watt 1-3, Will Albert 1-2 (double, stolen base), Drew Spencer 1-3 (2 RBI), Davis Albert 1-2.
Notable: Watt collected his team-leading 21st stolen base. Wayne County is 7-0 all-time in postseason play against Kinston. Area I East is playing a double-elimination tournament for the first time since 2003.
Records: Wayne County 20-4, Kinston 3-9.
Next game: Today, vs. Pitt County Post 39 at Rosewood