05/04/05 — Overman's arm overwhelming in Eagles' road win

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Overman's arm overwhelming in Eagles' road win

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 4, 2005 2:02 PM

KENLY -- Rosewood ace Dustin Overman has put together quite a senior season.

The right-hander struck out 11 North Johnston hitters against one walk - boosting his mark to 7-2 on the season after the Eagles' 9-3 road win on Tuesday

He gave up just three hits and no earned runs in seven innings of work, facing only three, three-ball counts with one walk and one hit batter. Overman's earned run average remains near 1.50 and he now has 90 strikeouts on the season.

Stats aside, he and the rest of the Eagles remain focused on winning out and pushing toward one of two Class 1-A N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff berths from the Carolina Conference.

"Everybody's fighting for a spot," Overman said. "Right now, we are just trying to fight hard and stay in the race for that number two spot."

With home games left with North Duplin (Friday) and Princeton (May 10), the Eagles (9-8, 6-4 Carolina) remain one game behind Ayden-Grifton and Farmville Central for second. The Bulldogs own first by a game at 8-2.

North Johnston (3-13 overall) fell to 2-8 against league foes.

"There is going to be two good teams staying home from the playoffs," Rosewood coach Scott Adams said. "We've lost four one-run games, so our motto now is to not keep them close. Every night, we've got to bring our 'A' game."

In the first four innings, Rosewood rallied with two outs for its first six runs against an error-prone Panther defense.

Brantley Ellis keyed the outburst with two hits and two RBI against starter Brad Holloman in the first and third.

Kyle Bunn scored two, and Overman singled in one in Holloman's fourth and final inning. North Johnston aided the surge with three errors - committing six on the game -- leading to six unearned runs.

"We talked about putting the ball in play and being mentally tough," Adams said. "We made adjustments with two strikes and two outs."

The Eagles posted two more in the fifth with righty Josh Parrott on the hill. David Smeltzer started the inning with a single to center, then circled the bases on a trio of Panther miscues. Holt Rains walked and eventually scored on a groundout by Dustin Sittig, making it 8-1.

North Johnston ace Ashley Moore worked the seventh, walking two and yielding another unearned run when a bases-loaded fly ball was dropped by the right fielder. Steven Tart scored on the play after starting the inning with a walk.

Rosewood finished with 12 hits against a trio of Panther pitchers and all nine starters reached base safely with seven scoring.

All three of the Panthers' runs proved unearned against Overman. Ashley Moore finished with two hits and scored North Johnston's first run in the third. After 31/3 scoreless innings that saw Overman sit down nine-of-10, the Panthers benefitted from a pair of Eagle errors in the seventh as Josh Phillips and Blake Bizzell came around to score, pushing the score to its final margin.

"As long as the game went on, the more comfortable I got on the mound," Overman said. "My catcher (Bunn) does a good job and usually knows what to call. I just throw what he calls."

Notes: Rosewood had 57 total bases ... Rosewood lead-off hitter Trey Kriger reached base three times and scored twice ... The Eagles will finish at least .500 or better for at least the fourth-straight year ... North Johnston is having its first sub-.500 season during the same stretch.