Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
WENDELL — East Wake baseball slid safely into the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League title last week after beating two tags by neighboring rival Rolesville on July 17.
The Warthogs (8-1 in series) swept the Riot (4-5) on back-to-back comeback nights to capture the crown. East Wake rocked its own house, 9-5. It hit the road to edge Rolesville, 4-3, less than 24 hours later.
The first meeting clinched at least a share of the crown, since it put the Warthogs two games up on the field with two games left. For East Wake coach Tony Piercy, that victory also eased the spring sting of Rolesville raiding and razing Saber Field. Those visiting junior varsity and varsity troops that day plated a combined 35 runs over eight frames.
The host Warthogs surrendered an enemy point in the opening frame, but responded with three in the bottom half. Dawson Creech (1-for-3) singled to left, Bennett Pollard (2-for-2, two runs, RBI) singled to center and Landen Miller (1-for-3, two runs, RBI) singled to left to tie the game before a Jacob Falls (1-for-2) sacrifice bunt combined with a Ben Lister (2-for-3, three RBI) laser past second base to build a lead.
Rolesville rallied to knot the count in the third when Kalvin Gruber (1-for-2) infield singled and Kendall Mora (1-for-1) doubled to climb aboard. Two wild pitches brought them both across.
The Riot escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the Warthog third thanks to a foulout and a lineout to first baseman Jayden Bailey. It was not as fortunate in the fourth.
East Wake’s Dylan Wells (1-for-2) whacked a lead-off single, then moved to second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch. From there, a two-gone Pollard peck to right gained the 4-3 front run.
Creech took over on the East Wake mound and promptly fanned the Rolesville side in the fifth. Then a Falls walk, a Lister single, a Falls steal home and a wild pitch stretched the gap to 6-3.
Rolesville whittled to 6-4 in its sixth Kendall Mora hustled in on a wild pitch. However, the Warthogs trumped that effort by exploiting five walks, one wild pitch and one hit batter in their sixth to secure three insurance runs. East Wake did not need a base knock to account for either click ballooning the span to 9-4.
Gabe Jackson (1-for-3) doubled in Austin Buffaloe (1-for-3) to go less than in the seventh, but the 13 free passes it had issued East Wake already inflicted too much damage. The Warthogs batted 9-of-25 (.360) as a whole opposite Rolesvile’s 8-of-29 (.275).
When the Riot welcomed the Warthogs to its diamond, those guests followed the same script as the initial duel. East Wake jumped on top, 1-0, in the first via a Miller RBI single. Rolesville evened it, 1-1, in the third when Grant Homan’s walk was wheeled in on a Josh Wiggins’ single.
Rolesville’s fourth produced a Logan Hines double as well as two-out clutch singles by Buffaloe and Bailey. The Riot romped ahead, 3-1.
East Wake did not counter until its sixth. Pollard was beaned, Miller walked and Falls laid down a bunt single to fill the bags with one out. Lister’s groundout brought in one, then Aidan Haugh launched a double deep to center. That convoyed in Miller and Falls with the tying then go-ahead touches.
The Riot threatened in its sixth as runners reached first and second with no outs. However, Miller caught a stealer at third in a bang-bang out. A fielder’s choice and flyout to center next unraveled the opportunity.
On the hill, winning pitcher Falls closed out Rolesville in the seventh with a groundout, strikeout and popout to second surrounding a lone walk.
East Wake is currently playing in the CCSSL’s final four playoff this week. The first game was Tuesday.