The Garner Nationals got great pitching all evening long and some big hits late.
And with that they were able to avenge their only loss of the season.
Brandon Stephens had three hits and an RBI with a stolen base, while Cole Hinnant doubled and singled and scored twice, giving the Nats a 4-0 win over Wilson Post 13 in non-division American Legion Baseball play on a mild Thursday night at Holly Springs High School.
The result improved Garner to 7-1 on the season while Wilson - who had run up a 10-2 score May 28 on a night the Nationals kicked the ball all over the infield – fell to 4-3.
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“We made double plays and sacrificed well tonight,” said Garner coach Chris Cook, whose team had won ugly in a 15-10 result on Wednesday at Eastern Randolph. “That’s our baseball. We did what we had to do.
“And it all started with Derek Roy, giving us six shutout innings in a start. You see what we bring in, with (Robbie) Frongello going to Richmond and Hinnant who is as good a closer as you’ll see at this level.”
Wilson got two hits in the third inning from Jarrett Mobley and D.J. Daniels, but got its only baserunner over the final five innings when Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch.
“Our effort was good,” Wilson coach Rusty Dail said. “Sometimes you hit and sometimes you don’t. We played well to beat them the first time, but we didn’t get the hits we needed tonight.”
Roy was the winning pitcher, going six innings and allowing just three hits with four strikeouts against two walks before Frongello faced the minimum over the next two innings and Hinnant had a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts.
“I really found my curve ball in the fourth, fifth and sixth and really got into the groove,” said Roy (2-0), a rising senior at Middle Creek. “This is one of the best teams I’ve ever played on with the college guys. It’s a real fun experience.”
Steven Worley, a rising senior at North Johnston, went 6 2/3 for Wilson and allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
“I pitched pretty well,” Worley said. “I had a good two-seamer and curveball tonight. They just got hits when they needed them. That was one of the better teams we’ll face.”
Garner got its first run in the third, as Hinnant led off with a double and scored on Stephens’ one-out single.
Hinnant scored again in the seventh when he hit a one-out single and scored on Trevor Heasley’s bases-loaded fly to center.
In the eighth Jonathan D’Ercole led off with a double, followed by a bunt single from Drake Harris, an RBI hit from Caleb Bissette and a sac bunt from Frangello.
“It’s definitely good to be the closer,” said Hinnant, a Clayton alum and rising sophomore at Francis Marion who has closed in non-save situations the past two Garner tilts. “I’m able to save my arm and don’t have to worry about it. And I like to be the guy who ends the game.
“And as the leadoff guy, I just want to get on base every time and get the fire going.”