Walt Ange delivers game-winning hit for Williamston

Published 10:59 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Williamston’s Walt Ange stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the fifth inning with a chance to live out every baseball players’ dream of getting The Big Hit in a playoff game; on Tuesday night he turned that dream into a reality.
Locked in a 2-2 tie with Perquimans in the second round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs, Ange stepped up to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, and delivered a line drive over the third baseman’s head to bring home Will Davis and A.J. Peaks to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead, and eventually the game.
The Tigers, the No. 1 seed from the Atlantic Conference and fifth ranked team in the state, thanks to a terrific effort out of the bullpen by Peaks and Heath Rogerson, were able to hold the Pirates (No. 2 seed from the Tar Roanoke Conference and sixth ranked team in the state) at bay to earn a 5-2 victory at the beautiful Barnes Field at Skewarkee Park, and advance to the third round of the playoffs.
While Ange lived out a dream, Peaks must have felt like he was in a nightmare as he entered the game in relief of starter Josh Warren down 2-0, with the bases loaded and only one out in the second.
The senior held his composure, and held off Perquimans as he got John Hunter to line out to third, and Cody Saunders to ground out to short to escape a major scoring threat.
Williamston also dodged a big bullet in the first. Warren, a usually reliable starter got caught leaving the ball up in the zone, and the heavy-hitting Pirates were making him pay.
While Warren (1 1-3, 2R, 6H 1K) was getting hit hard, he still managed to get himself and the Tigers out of a serious jam in the first.
Perquimans’ Ryan Scott led off the game with a monster 368-foot double to left, and was eventually brought home by a Dustin Spruill two-bagger two put the Pirates up 1-0.
Perquimans would go on to load the bases, but Warren was able to strike out Alex Weaver, and get Brad Miller to bounce out to second to end the inning.
In the second, Scott came up big again as he smashed an RBI single to extend Perquimans lead to 2-0, before Warren was pulled for Peaks.
Having scored 25 runs in their first playoff game, the Pirates looked poised to explode on Tuesday until Peaks came in and closed the door.
However, every time the Pirates looked like they would take a big lead, Peaks and the rest of the Tigers’ pitchers minimized the damage.
Peaks threw 3 2-3 innings, allowing no runs while giving up only three hits to the pesky Pirates to pick up the win.
While the Pirates took the momentum early, the Tigers stole it when Peaks shut them down in the second.
Williamston was able to get on the board in the third when Will Davis knocked an RBI single to score Warren.
Davis had a huge game as he led the Pirates by going 4-4 with two doubles and an RBI, while scoring twice.
The Tigers struck again in the fifth, as they rallied for three runs and chased Perquimans starter Andre Savot out of the game.
Savot pitched well, allowing only two runs in 4 2-3 innings. The Pirates’ pitcher did a nice job of attacking all areas of the strike zone, and throwing his curve at all different counts.
Savot got in trouble when, with one out, he walked Warren and let up a booming double to Davis. With No. 3 hitter Trey Peaks stepping up to the plate, Perquimans pulled its starter and replaced him with Josh Phihisic.
Peaks bounced a Phihisic pitch to third base, which allowed Warren to score from home to tie the game at two.
Phihisic walked his next two batters, setting up Ange to deliver a two-run single.
The Tigers added one more run in the sixth when Trey Peaks punched an opposite field single to right to score Davis.
Rogerson picked up the save for Williamston, pitching the final two innings and keeping the Pirates scoreless despite the fact that they were able to get their leadoff batter on base in every inning.
Williamston will resume their playoff run Friday when it plays the winner of the Gates County (16-5)-Roanoke (5-18) game.
Perquimans 110 000 0 — 2 9 1
Williamston 001 031 X — 5 9 2
WP: A.J. Peaks; LP: Josh Phihisic
Hitters: P — Robert Scott 3-4 (RBI, R), Nick Barrett 1-4, Dustin Spruill 2-4 (2B, RBI), John Hunter 1-2, Cody Saunders 1-4, Brad Miller 1-3; W — Josh Warren 1-3 (2 R), Will Davis 4-4 (2 2B, RBI, 2 R), Trey Peaks 1-3 (RBI), Christian Leggett 2-2, Walt Ange 1-4 (2 RBI).