04/15/04 — Baseball -- Gators turn tables on NJ

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Baseball -- Gators turn tables on NJ

Published in Sports on April 15, 2004 1:57 PM

Spring may have sprung, but not last night in Princeton.

A light, steady rain, cold, and gusty wind made conditions difficult for both players and fans for the opening round of the Deacon Jones baseball tournament at the Princeton High Schopol diamond.

Before the start of his game, North Johnston coach Tim Jones zeroed in on his team's Achilles' heel.

"Although we start eight seniors," he said, "we play very inconsistent defense."

Six miscues and sparse hitting came back to haunt the Panthers in a 12-2 loss to Spring Creek -- just a week after the Panthers beat the Gators 10-0.

"Go figure," said Spring Creek coach Roger May. "Hitting can be contagious. When (Jes) Snyder hit that double, everyone seemed to say, 'we can do that, too.' "

Spring Creek bats awoke in the fourth inning as the Gators sent 11 batters to the plate. Snyder led off the inning with a double. The senior shortstop was only a home run short of hitting for the cycle.

"This guy can really play," said May. "More college scouts need to see him the way we do."

Five hits and three North Johnston errors later, Spring Creek found itself with a 7-1 lead. The Gators added three more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Besides Snyder, Derek Kirby, Blake Thompson, Josh Lewis, and winning pitcher Michael Sigmon had at least two hits.

North Johnston had their chances.

The Panthers went ahead 1-0 in the third inning after Ashley Moore came home on an infield error. The Panthers could have potentially put the game away in the fourth and fifth innings, loading the bases in each frame. North Johnston scored only once more, when Adam Stuckey was forced home on a Travis Jones walk.

"We missed some real opportunities tonight," said Jones. "When you load the bases twice, and can only get one, that hurts."

North Johnston also made the mistake of hitting the ball to center fielder Randy Amos seven times. Twice, they did not test the his throwing arm when runners were in scoring position.

"He's the type of player you'll win with every day," added May.

Sigmon, enroute to his first win of the season, was backed up by outstanding relief work. Lewis and Thompson closed out the game, each allowing only one hit.

"In our league, you need to come with you A-game every night," said Jones. "They did. We didn't."

North Johnston evened their record at 6-6. Spring Creek's slate improved to 9-7.

N. Johnston 001 010 0 -- 2 4 6
Sp. Creek 000 732 x -- 12 13 3

Leading hitters -- North Johnston -- Adam Verrill 2 hits; Ashley Moore 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 run; Adam Stuckey 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 run. Spring Creek -- Jes Snyder 3 hits, 2 runs, 2B, 3B; Michael Sigmon 2 hits, 2 runs; Josh Lewis 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 2B; Blake Thompson 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Derek Kirby, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI; Randy Amos 1 hit, 2 runs; Jed Potter 1 hit, 4 RBI.

North Johnston (6-6)
Holloman (L, 3-2) 4 8 7 5 1 2
Edwards 2 5 5 5 1 1
Spring Creek (9-7)
Sigmon (W, 1-0) 4 2 2 0 2 2
Thompson 1 1 0 0 1 1
Lewis 2 1 0 0 0 1