Rosewood outlasts Spring Creek
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 24, 2004 2:09 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Kyle Bunn just might have found his role as a closer on the Rosewood High baseball team, but his first save attempt nearly ended in disappointing fashion Tuesday evening.
Bunn relieved Nick Becton in the seventh with two runners on base and one out. The Eagles clung to a 10-8 lead at that point. The Gators' Blake Thompson got ahead of Bunn in the count and nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback by slapping a 3-1 pitch over the right field pole in foul territory.
"Uh oh. New ball game," Rosewood coach Scott Adams thought.
Spring Creek's Josh Lewis lays down a squeeze bunt in the third inning of the Gators' game against Rosewood Tuesday. The bunt scored a run to close the Eagle lead to 5-3. Catching for the Eagles is Kyle Bunn, who came on as a pitcher in relief to secure RosewoodÕs 10-8 win.
The crowd-teasing, long strike didn't phase Bunn. The sophomore right-hander caught Thompson looking at a third strike for the second out. He finished off his first save opportunity with a strikeout of pinch-hitter John Kelly as Rosewood escaped 10-8 in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference encounter.
The victory evened the Eagles' league worksheet at 1-1 heading into today's home game against defending Carolina champion Farmville Central.
Spring Creek, which has played five games in the last seven days, tumbled from the unbeaten ranks in conference play. The Gators, who also had their four-game win streak snapped, stand 6-5 overall and 2-1 against Carolina opposition.
The two-hour, 42-minute marathon could be considered a spectator's delight ... and a coach's nightmare. The teams combined to use eight pitchers, who nearly combined for 300 pitches in the regulation seven-inning contest.
Each coach admitted that as the temperature dropped, the players lost their concentration. But the lack of focus was most noticeable when each team played defense. Each made their fair share of mental and physical errors, which led to multiple-run innings.
Spring Creek hurler Josh Lewis (3-2) benefited from a first-inning double play and avoided damage in the second by getting an inning-ending strikeout. However, the right-hander yielded five runs, including a two-RBI double from lead-off batter Matt Craft in the third.
"(Our) pitching today was not there," Gators coach Roger May said. "I was a little disappointed with our starter not getting the job done. I think he can help us if he really puts his mind to it."
Rosewood starter Micheal Render (1-2) surrendered three runs (all earned) on four hits in the first two innings. The left-hander told Adams that he felt a little tight before the game, but as the contest progressed, Render seemed to loosen up on the mound.
Adams moved Render to the infield after the fifth and placed Dustin Overman on the mound. Overman survived a unsteady sixth inning, but struggled in the seventh.
The right-hander issued a one-out single to Jed Potter, walked Randy Amos and gave up a two-RBI double to Jes Snyder.
"Overman is supposedly our closer and we've got him set up for that role, but he got a late start," Adams said. "He doesn't have his control. Every time he comes in, it's a close game and I brought him in early (today) to give him some work. He pitched his way right into a jam.
"Both teams had a few miscues that kept them in the ball game and kept us in the ball game."
Becton relieved Overman and wrestled with the strike zone, giving up two hits and walking Norman Sites.
Adams called upon Bunn and he responded.
"Bunn did a great job and had looked good in his bullpen sessions," Adams said. "He stepped up despite not having a lot of mound time. He's going to get more.
"Tonight we might have found our one-inning guy."
Overman and Josh Allen led Rosewood (2-3) with two hits apiece.
Spring Creek collected nine hits, including three by Michael Sigmon and two each from Snyder and Lewis.
"They showed some character in coming back, but when you play good teams you can't make mistakes," May said. "The key to the success of this team right here is no peaks and valleys, and you've got to come out to play every day."
Rosewood 005 031 1 -- 10 8 4
Spring Creek 201 001 4 -- 8 9 4
Leading hitters -- Rosewood -- Dustin Overman 2-4; Josh Allen 2-4; Taylor Carr 1-3, 2B; Micheal Render 1-3, 2 RBI; Brantley Ellis 1-2, 3B, RBI. Spring Creek -- Jes Snyder 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI; Michael Sigmon 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Josh Lewis 2-3, 3 RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Render (W, 1-2) 5 5 3 3 1 6
Overman 11Ú3 2 4 3 3 2
Becton 0 2 1 1 1 0
Bunn (S, 1) 2Ú3 0 0 0 0 2
Lewis (L, 3-2) 2 3 5 5 3 1
Amos 3 2 3 1 1 2
Sigmon 0 1 1 0 0 0
Snyder 2 2 1 1 0 4
WP -- Amos, Render. PB -- Potter, Bunn. HBP -- Snyder (by Render).
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