04/13/05 — Rosewood baseball team holds off Rebels

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Rosewood baseball team holds off Rebels

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 13, 2005 1:57 PM

CALYPSO -- "Not again."

The thought had to cross the Rosewood baseball team's collective mind as it was one out away from suffering their fifth one-run loss of the season on Tuesday at North Duplin.

A gritty, seventh-inning outburst and a big, two-out double by senior Kyle Bunn helped put the Eagles on the winning end of a 5-4 nailbiter as they held off the Rebels, who staged one final rally of their own.

With his team down 2-1 with two outs in the top of the seventh, Bunn smacked a 2-2 fastball from Matt Braswell with the bases loaded into right-center field. Steven Tart and Dave Martel, who both walked, easily raced home, while Trey Kriger slid safely as the relay-throw arrived at the plate.

Kriger, nursing an injured shoulder, provided a clutch, single to left during the two-out rally to load the bases following the pair of walks by Braswell

After Bunn plated three, Dustin Overman brought home Bunn in what proved to be a key, insurance run with another double. Overman's two-bagger drilled the right-center fence, making it 5-1.

"He (Braswell) left a few pitches up high and we got a few runners on base," said Bunn, who had four RBI.." I didn't want to lose another close ball game, so I was just hoping."

Rosewood (7-5) improved to 2-3 in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference, while the Rebels (4-7) enter the second half of league play with a 1-5 mark.

The rally seemed even more improbable after Braswell's middle-inning effort. The senior-right-hander had struck out 10 and retired 12-of-13 going back to the third. Three of the five runs that scored against Braswell reached on walks as he gave up 10 on the game.

"The two walks with two outs hurt him," North Duplin coach John Avent said. "He was still throwing with good velocity, so I don't think he was getting tired. They just got a few good hits."

In a game where both offenses seemed to click late, North Duplin didn't go down quietly.

Bunn, who had given up just two hits in the first six, allowed a single to Wade Sasser and a double by Braswell to start the final inning - prompting coach Scott Adams to bring Overman to the mound from short stop.

The senior struck out the side and picked up the save, but not before a wild pitch scored one and Josh Marquez provided a run-scoring single that pulled the Rebels back within one at 5-4.

"I didn't have my best stuff, so thanks to Dustin for coming in and getting us out of it," Bunn said.

Bunn (3-2) got the win, notching five perfect innings and allowing only four hits -- just two in the first six. The Eagle defense backed the righty with flawless defense.

Overman recorded his second save.

"He threw his heart out, even though he might not have had his best stuff," Adams said. "He battled, didn't give up and good things happened. It was one of his best high school games as a player at Rosewood."

In the top of the third, Bunn slugged the first-of-two doubles, another to right-center -- scoring Kriger, who worked a 12-pitch walk.

Overman then reached on another walk. But, Braswell managed to escape the inning with no further damage when North Duplin first baseman Travis Dubois turned an unassisted double-play, before Braswell provided a strike out to end the third.

The Rebels scratched for two runs in the fourth on a two-out, opposite-field single to left by Tom Bell - plating Brad Lloyd and Braswell.

"The guys are feeling good about the way they are playing," Avent said. "They've shown they are going to come out and battle all year."

Notes: Bunn induced 10 ground outs on the game as Overman (SS) and Dustin Sittig (2B) had four assists each. Braswell struck out the side twice, in the fourth and seventh. Braswell struck out three batters at least two times each. The final two innings were played during on-and-off showers.