GOLDSBORO - “How you feeling?” asked Wayne County Post 11 pitching coach Matt Hare after Tyler Thompson stepped into the dugout after the second inning.
“Fantastic,” Thompson said.
Indeed, he was fantastic.
Thompson scattered five hits in a complete-game performance as Post 11 claimed a 4-0 shutout over Area I East foe Plymouth Post 164 in their doubleheader opener Tuesday evening.
Richard Noble became Wayne County’s first three-game winner of the season in the nightcap. The right-hander yielded four hits and retired six Plymouth hitters on strikeouts in a 4-1 triumph.
Carson Gipson picked up his third save.
Thompson (2-0) sat down the first six Post 164 batters he faced on four groundouts, a strikeout and a flyout.
A first-year program, Plymouth (2-2 overall, 2-2 East), put runners at second and third in both the third and fourth innings. Thompson induced three groundouts, a fielder’s choice and strikeout to preserve his shutout bid.
Thompson encountered trouble again in the seventh, but Wayne County turned a 5-4-3 double play to seal the outcome.
Post 11 manufactured the game-winning run on Nate Smith’s sacrifice fly that scored Lane McLean, who slapped a triple to the left-center field wall to lead off the first inning.
McLean scored on a third-inning error.
Wayne County (8-2 overall, 3-0 East) plated two runs in the fourth.
McLean finished the game 2-for-2 with a walk. Logan Merritt, Mason Moffett and Davis Albert each provided one hit. Braeden Collins provided an RBI.
Noble allowed at least one base runner in each inning he pitched, but consistently worked his way out of trouble.
The right-hander permitted four hits, logged six strikeouts in the scorebook and kept Post 164 off the scoreboard. He threw 14 first-pitch strikes to 24 batters he faced.
Erik Rosas gave up the lone run during his one-inning stint.
Gipson appeared in the seventh and notched one strikeout.
Merritt emerged as the offensive leader with three hits, a run scored and an RBI in three official at-bats. He drove in McLean during the first inning.
Collins provided the game-winning RBI, a two-out double that scored Merritt in the third. Post 164 escaped further damage when it threw out a runner at the plate.
Wayne County grabbed some breathing room with two runs in the sixth and claimed its 34th regular-season victory in 37 East division outings since 2018.
Post 11 begins a six-game road swing today at defending state champion Fuquay-Varina. Game time is 7 p.m. at Jim Perry Stadium on the Campbell University campus in Buies Creek.