05/25/05 — Bagley, Jaguars derail Princeton in third round

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Bagley, Jaguars derail Princeton in third round

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on May 25, 2005 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- No late-inning rally.

No return engagement in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A finals.

No season sweep of Farmville Central.

Brad Bagley pitched a six-hitter, and Tommy Cobb and Jordan Corbett drove in two runs each as the visiting Jaguars upset Carolina Conference and defending East 1-A champion Princeton 7-3 on Tuesday night in a third-round playoff matchup.

Farmville Central (17-8) will face either Camden County or Williamston on Thursday at Clark-LeClair Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University in a best-of-three series for the regional championship.

"I don't feel at all like we beat ourselves," Bulldogs coach Bruce Proctor said. "You've got to give Farmville Central a lot of credit. They came out here and beat us. They've got a good baseball team. I wish them the best of luck."

The middle of the Princeton order combined to go 1-for-9 at the plate. The lack of offensive production concluded a 19-7 season for the Bulldogs.

Bagley (8-4) struck out nine -- including the first four Princeton batters -- to outduel Bulldogs ace Josh Thompson.

Thompson (10-2) had allowed no earned runs in two complete-game wins over the Jaguars during Carolina 1-A regular-season play.

The third time proved a charm for this refuse-to-lose Farmville Central team. The Jaguars roughed up the senior right-hander for seven earned runs on 11 hits in 61/3 innings this time around.

"Thompson had handled us all year," Farmville Central coach John Galeazzi said. "Having seen Thompson so much this year was probably in our favor. We know he likes to go outside with his pitches, so we worked on that in batting practice coming in.

"Our guys just love to play. I think you could safely say that our team enjoys playing the better teams. It's always hard to beat a team three times in a season. We had that factor working for us. Princeton is a great baseball team, but tonight was just our night."

Designated hitter Will Rhem's fourth-inning RBI double provided the Jaguars a 4-1 lead. The score would only become more lopsided.

Any hopes for a third straight postseason rally quickly faded amongst the partisan -- and sizable -- Princeton crowd.

Craven Taylor's two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh inning by Farmville Central.

"I don't think our guys ever give up," Proctor said. "I really don't believe we've ever given up. There's a lot of fight in our guys. I'm extremely proud of them."

Patrick Gatewood's second RBI single -- coming with two strikes and two outs -- gave Princeton a momentary reprieve in the bottom of the seventh, but Colin Parker followed by flying out to center field to end the game.

And the Bulldogs' memorable season.

Gatewood finished with a team-high three hits -- making the junior second baseman the only Princeton batter to record more than one hit off Bagley.

"Tonight just wasn't our night," Proctor said. "The kids played hard and kept fighting back, but Farmville Central played well."

Notes: Princeton is losing seven seniors to graduation. ... Princeton and Farmville Central were the Carolina 1-A's only representatives in the N.C. High School Athletic playoffs. ... Thompson smacked a second-inning RBI double to give Princeton a 1-0 lead. ... Princeton stranded five baserunners. ... Farmville Central committed three errors. ... Bagley has pitched 19 innings since the beginning of the playoffs. ... Farmville Central CF Brandon Cox scored two runs.