04/12/06 — Bulldogs' bats overcome errors at Rosewood

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Bulldogs' bats overcome errors at Rosewood

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 12, 2006 2:04 PM

Princeton's normally sound defense proved to be its biggest flaw on Tuesday at Rosewood as the visitors committed a whopping, nine errors.

While the glove work may have been a disappointment, the Bulldogs' bats more than made up for the miscues.

Princeton, ranked No. 3 in the latest ImpactBaseball.com 1-A poll, pounded out 17 hits, including seven for extra bases, against a trio of Eagle pitchers on its way to a 15-8 win.

"We haven't done that all year. I don't know what was going on with the defense tonight," Princeton assistant coach Russell Williamson said. "Thank goodness we hit the ball the way we did."

The win improves the Bulldogs (10-3 overall) to 5-0 in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference as they finished the first half of league play unbeaten. The Eagles (7-7 overall) dropped to 2-3 in the conference heading into the second half.

"We've still got the second half to play," first-year Rosewood coach Josh Smith said. "It's going to be a battle every night, but we need to get better over Easter before we worry about the second half."

Four Bulldogs had three hits; Colin Parker (3 RBIs), Andrew Cobb (2 RBIs), Kyle Harmon (3 RBIs) and Dustin Pate (3 RBIs).

Parker's run-scoring triple to right field in the fifth brought home Patrick Gatewood, who reached on one-of-four Rosewood errors, chasing Eagles' starter Kyle Bunn from the game. Facing Rosewood reliever Taylor Allen, Princeton's Daniel Gerrell slugged a towering, two-run blast to center to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead.

Rosewood, which had answered the Bulldogs -- with help from Princeton's defense -- consistently in the first four innings, never seemed to recover from there. In innings five-through-seven, the visitors outscored the home team, 8-1.

Dustin Pate added a home run in the sixth against Taylor, then doubled in the seventh off Dustin Sittig, before Harmon's two-RBI single capped the scoring in the three-hour contest.

"Top to bottom, I feel like our lineup is capable of hitting the ball against anybody," said Williamson, who is assuming head coaching duties while Bruce Proctor serves a two-game suspension for being ejected from Friday's game against Ayden-Grifton. "We had some opportunities early but didn't take advantage of them. Fortunately, we did take advantage of our chances late in the game." Facing Princeton starter Ryan Daughtry, Rosewood scored one in the first on Brantley Ellis' sacrifice fly, and tallied two unearned runs in the second to pull within one at 4-3.

Princeton extended its lead to 7-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth and Daughtry appeared to be poised to take the Bulldogs into the fifth with the four-run margin.

But with the bases loaded, Rosewood's Trey Kriger bounced a single through the left side to score Sittig and Allen. Gerrell, the catcher, received the throw from left field, then attempted to toss out Garrett Howell at third, but the throw skipped past the third baseman. Howell easily raced home as did Kriger -- quickly tying the game at 7-7.

"It was fortunate for us that Princeton let us into the ball game," Smith said. "We were in position to win, we just shot ourselves in the foot."

Daughtry walked the next batter he faced, but Dustin Pate came on to fan the first of his six strikeouts in the final 31/3 innings. Pitching with a lead, Pate yielded no hits and one unearned run with three walks during his stint.

Goss Kendall reached on a fielder's choice in the fifth and came around to score on a throwing error for Rosewood's lone run against Pate, who was credited with the win.

Bunn endured the loss -- giving up eight runs (four earned) on nine hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four full innings of work. Rosewood's four errors led to five total unearned runs.

Before returning to Carolina Conference play, Rosewood and Princeton -- along with Spring Creek and Cary Academy -- will compete in the Deacon Jones Invitational Easter Tournament on April 20 and 21 at the Bulldogs' field.

On the first day of the tourney, Rosewood faces Spring Creek in the 4 p.m. game, while Princeton takes on Cary Academy at 7 p.m.

Princeton 131 232 3 -- 15 17 9

Rosewood 120 410 0 -- 8 5 4

Leading hitters -- Princeton -- Colin Parker 3-6, 3B, 2B, 3 RBIs; Daniel Gerrell 2-4, HR, RBI; Andrew Cobb 3-4, 2 RBIs; Dustin Pate 3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBIs; Kyle Harmon 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI. Rosewood -- Trey Kriger 2-4, 2 RBIs; Goss Kendall 1-4, 2B; Dustin Sittig 2-4.


Princeton (10-3, 5-0)Daughtry 32/3 5 7 1 3 3

Pate (W) 31/3 0 1 0 3 6

Rosewood (7-7, 2-3)

Bunn (L) 4 9 8 4 4 3

Allen 2 4 3 3 1 1

Sittig 1 4 3 3 0 1