03/08/06 — No place like home - Rosewood nips Midway

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No place like home - Rosewood nips Midway

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 8, 2006 2:55 PM

Home sweet home.

In their first game at Rosewood this season, the Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning and held on to beat Midway, 10-9 on Monday -- handing Josh Smith his first career win as a head coach in his return to his alma-mater.

Smith, a former baseball and football standout for Rosewood and collegiate quarterback at Guilford College, was obviously pleased to get his first win but seemed more happy for his players.

"I just want the best for these young men. It's a great feeling," Smith said. "I'm glad it's finally here and myself and the team can move on to more success."

It looked early on as if the Eagles (1-2) would cruise past the Raiders.

Rosewood's Kyle Bunn keyed the eight-run, Rosewood first inning with two hits -- a double and two-RBI single -- as Rosewood sent 11 batters to the plate. David Smeltzer and Dustin Sittig also smacked doubles in the first, while Brantley Ellis and Dave Martel contributed to the rally with run-scoring base hits.

Midway starter Josh Crumpler recorded just one out and aided the outburst with two hit batters and one wild pitch. Tyler Fann, who pitched the final 62/3 innings, came on in relief Crumpler and yielded three unearned runs before recording the final two outs of the first.

"We brought our game in the first inning," Smith said. "One-through-nine, we're a solid ball club. When the kids understand you have to be aggressive and get ahead of the pitcher, things are going to go in our favor."

From there, Rosewood's bats cooled with the dropping temperature as Fann consistently stayed out of trouble and worked ahead in the count against the Eagles, who took their fair share of strikes.

Meanwhile, the Raiders scored in bunches in the second, fourth and fifth to cut into the home team's big lead.

Facing Bunn, the starting pitcher, Midway got six runs combined in the second and fourth with only one proving to be an earned run as the bottom half of the Raider lineup -- Jared McPhail, Jonathan Welker and Fann -- posted clutch hits to make it 8-6.

Bunn, who picked up the win, yielded six hits and six runs but only one was earned.

After Rosewood got a key insurance run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out single to right by Matt Godwin, Midway again cut the deficit to one with two more unearned runs against left-handed reliever, Rex Treewitts.

"I preach defense. In order to be a great ball club, you have to be solid defensively," Smith said. "But we got too comfortable tonight. We haven't been in a position where we were up eight runs, but now we've been in that situation. We'll get back out here tomorrow and take some ground balls."

Facing a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the sixth with Rosewood leading 9-8, Treewitts recorded three consecutive outs -- all on ground outs -- to escape the inning with no damage.

The Eagles got their final run in the sixth when Smeltzer, who finished with three hits, tripled to the right-center field gap and his courtesy runner, Goss Kendall, raced home on a wild pitch by Fann.

That run also proved to be crucial to the win as McPhail started the seventh with a towering home run to left against Treewitts to make it 10-9. After McPhail's blast, Smith called on Taylor Allen to finish the game as the sophomore righty fanned two of the four batters he faced to finish off the victory.

The Eagles return to action on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at home against Hobbton.

Midway 030 320 1 -- 9 9 2

Rosewood 800 101 x -- 10 11 7

Leading hitters -- Midway -- Jared McPhail 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 4 runs; Jonathan Welker 2-4, RBI, 3 runs; Tyler Fann 1-4, 2 RBI; Cameron Parker 2-5. Rosewood -- David Smeltzer 3-3, 3B, 2B, RBI. Trey Kriger 2-3; Kyle Bunn 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Dustin Sittig 1-3, 2B, RBI.



J. Crumpler (L) 1/3 4 6 5 0 0

T. Fann 62/3 7 4 1 2 6


K. Bunn (W) 4 6 6 1 4 6

R. Treewitts 2 2 3 1 1 0

T. Allen (S) 1 0 0 0 0 2

Treewitts faced one batter in the seventh