05/02/04 — Gators closer to first title

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Gators closer to first title

Published in Sports on May 2, 2004 2:03 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek's baseball coach Roger May thinks a playoff spot -- and a Carolina 1-A Conference championship -- may be in the air. After the Gators' 2-1 win over Farmville Central Friday, May thinks his team has caught the scent as well.

"Before Tuesday's game with Ayden-Grifton for a possible first-place tie, I want them to be able to smell the opportunity they have, and appreciate how far they've come," he said.

The Gators game Friday night featured an outstanding pitching effort from Randy Amos. The senior, who upped his record to 5-4, needed only 77 pitches to send the visiting Jaguars packing with their fifth conference loss. When the going got tough, Amos found the pitch to get him out of trouble.

Amos was backed up by excellent defensive play. Center fielder Norman Sites and rightfielder Derek Kirby braved tricky winds to combine for five put-outs. Third baseman Michael Sigmon set up one double play, just missed another, and put the tag on Jeremy Rawls trying to stretch a double into a triple.

"I wish everyone knew the Michael Sigmon story this year," said May. "He has really worked hard to improve."

Offensively, Spring Creek (13-9, 7-3 Carolina) had runners on base in every inning. They scored the game's first run in the second inning as Blake Thompson was hit by a Brad Bagley pitch to lead off the inning. He stole second and scored on Kirby's single.

The Gators took themselves out of the next two innings with double plays.

Nursing a 1-0 lead going into the sixth, Jes Snyder finally got his team an insurance run with a bang -- a home run to left-center field after working Bagley deep into the count. The senior shortstop was a perfect two-for-two on the night.

Farmville Central (9-9, 4-5) was not without their chances, leaving nine runners on base. They stranded Kyle Jones and Mark Ross on base in the fourth. With only one out, Amos struck out Rawls and got Cody Fuquay to fly to right. The Jags loaded the bases in the fifth with two out, only to have Jones ground out to end the inning. Cutting Rawls down ended an opportunity in the sixth.

Third baseman Jared Beddard scored their only run in the seventh. He led off and singled, going to second on a walk to Spencer Albritton. After stealing third, Beddard scored on a passed ball.

"This was our third tough conference loss," said Farmville coach John Galeazzi. "A hit here or there, and things might have been different."

After losing a late-inning heartbreaker at Farmville earlier in the season, May was ready for the return engagement.

"Amos was in total control tonight," he said. "From our previous game, our charts and scouting had everyone positioned correctly."

May is looking forward to Tuesday's home game with the Chargers.

"Our team has been together now since middle school," he said. "This is what we've all been working towards."

The Jaguars will entertain North Duplin Tuesday night.

F. Central 000 000 1 -- 1 5 2

SCHS 010 001 x -- 2 4 3

Leading hitters -- Farmville Central -- Jeremy Rawls 2B. Spring Creek -- Jes Snyder 2 hits, HR, RBI; Derek Kirby 1 hit, 1RBI.


Farmville Central

Bagley (L, 0-3) 6 4 2 2 1 5

Spring Creek

Amos (W, 5-4) 7 5 1 0 1 4