04/17/05 — Eagles upset Princeton

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Eagles upset Princeton

Published in Sports on April 17, 2005 2:15 AM

PRINCETON -- To pitch that one, big game, look no further than Rosewood's Dustin Overman. The senior hurler exhibited class, moxie, and true grit as he led the Eagles to a stunning 5-0 shutout of Princeton.

It was a big game for all concerned. The win puts Rosewood back in the thick of things in Carolina 1-A Conference play. They evened their record at 3-3 and 8-5 overall.

The loss knocked the Bulldogs from the ranks of the undefeated in conference. At 5-1 and 12-3 overall, the stage is now set for their showdown Tuesday with highly touted Ayden-Grifton.

Last, but by no means least, there are rivalries, then there is Princeton, Rosewood. The Eagles were able to avenge a prior 1-0 loss in the Deacon Jones Easter Tournament.

After two of his three conference losses were also by one run, Rosewood coach Scott Adams just wanted the ball to bounce his way for once. He finally got his wish.

"We're still without Jason Scarborough. Trey Kriger is no where close to 100%," he said. "But, what about Dustin Overman?" he said. "We just rode on the back of his experience."

The senior, who picked up his fifth win of the season, had his challenges, but was equal to the task. His biggest obstacle may have been coping with the weather. High winds, blowing directly in from center field, had frozen fans calculating wind chill factors more than batting and earned run averages.

"I just kept trying to keep my hands warm," said Overman.

Whatever he did worked. Throwing less than 100 pitches, he struck out 14, while walking only two. "This win shows we can play with anyone in the conference," he said. "Princeton has set the standard. They were in the playoffs last year and are in first place in our conference."

Princeton had more than their share of offensive opportunities. Their "hitless offense" continued to get runners in scoring position. They were just unable to capitalize on their chances.

Bren Hall was hit to lead off the game. With no outs, he went to second on an error, and was balked to third, only to be left stranded. The following inning, Brooks Moore's double went for naught.

In the fourth, they loaded the bases to no avail. Futility struck again in the sixth. Brandon Pate and Daniel Gerrell reached second and third with one out. Just when coach Bruce Proctor thought his charges might be getting to Overman, the senior simply struck out five of the last six men he faced.

Princeton left seven runners on base. Their hitters took a called third strike six times.

Meanwhile, Rosewood was having their fair share of problems with another Dustin; Princeton's Dustin Myers. He also pitched well. In six innings, he scattered five hits, while allowing but two earned runs.

Sound defense shut down an Eagle threat in the second. A Moore to Kyle Harmon bullet forced Brantley Ellis at third on a Justin Allen single.

Rosewood broke the scoreless tie in the fourth. Overman, who also had two hits and scored three times led off with a single. Dave Smeltzer followed with a single. Holt Rains and Dustin Sittig walked, forcing in Overman.

Moore's second pin point throw of the game, this time to catcher Daniel Gerrell, caught Kriger cold at the plate in the fifth. Ellis, who reached base safely three times, got the key insurance run, as he doubled in Overman, who had singled.

Errors in the seventh gave Rosewood three more insurance runs.

"Luck was with us tonight for sure," said Adams. How often do you see a Princeton team make five errors in a game, let alone three in one inning?"

"Give credit to Rosewood, and especially to Dustin Overman," said Proctor. "You aren't going to win if you can't hit and don't score any runs. We had our chances. We just did not take advantage of them."

Rosewood will entertain Farmville Central Tuesday night.