Wilson delivers game-winning single as Cary edges Spring Creek
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 15, 2007 2:15 AM
PRINCETON -- Spring Creek reeled off seven wins in an eight-game span from late February to early March, and jumped into the most-recent ImpactBaseball.com Class 1-A poll.
Now the Gators are headed in the opposite direction.
Brandon Wilson delivered a walk-off, game-winning single in the seventh inning and catapulted Cary Academy past Spring Creek 3-2 in the consolation game of the 2007 Deacon Jones Invitational on Friday afternoon. The Chargers dealt the Gators (8-8 overall) their seventh defeat in their last eight outings.
"Instead of finding ways to win, we seem to be finding ways to lose," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "It's just snowballed here lately. The last two days here we've had the lead going into the last two innings and found a way to lose both times.
"I can't explain it."
Josh Gammon's RBI double broke a 1-1 tie and put Spring Creek ahead 2-1 in the fifth. Two Gators reached in the sixth inning, but were erased by the Chargers' defense. Wilson (4-1) ended the inning with a strikeout -- one of nine in the 1-hour, 34-minute contest.
Wilson effectively mixed his fastball and breaking pitch to keep the Gators guessing in the box.
"His breaking stuff is really good when he's on and he really does keep a lot of batters off balance," said Cary Academy coach Ray Pope. "We tried to stay inside of them a lot because they've got some hitters over there. We didn't want them to extend their arms."
Cary Academy knotted the game at 2-2 in the sixth.
Wilson connected on a lead-off single, stole second and advanced to third on a balk by Spring Creek reliever Ray Grady. Roberts plated Wilson with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Chargers' Bret Knight and Hamm reached base, but were left stranded when Grady notched back-to-back strikeouts to conclude the inning. Cary survived a two-out, seventh-inning error when Wilson coerced an inning-ending groundout from Alex Casey.
Preston Bull started the Chargers' game-winning rally with a one-out single to right field. Grady walked the next batter and Whitfield replaced him with Casey. Wilson slapped Casey's first pitch into right field.
Bull rounded third and Spring Creek's first baseman cut off the throw from the outfield. Bull safely slid home to give the Chargers their second Invitational victory in two appearances.
Wilson and Bull earned spots on the 10-player all-tournament team.
"(Wilson) is only a freshman, but is playing like a senior," said Pope. "He's a heckuva ball player; got a lot of heart. The boys kept coming back and worked really hard.
"They could have gotten down a couple of times, but didn't. They played really well and I'm proud of them."
Spring Creek failed to give right-hander Kevin Prunest, who earned all-tournament accolades, any run support. Prunest retired the first eight batters he faced and lost his no-hit bid on Bull's two-out single in the third.
Prunest surrendered the game-tying run in the fourth and gave way to Grady, who took over in the fifth.
"Kevin did a great job and we can't ask for any more than what he did," said Whitfield. "We should have scored some more runs for him. That's the bottom line."
The Gators seized a 1-0 lead on an infield error, but left a combined three runners stranded in scoring position in the first three innings. They had four hits overall, compared to their nine-hit output a day earlier against Rosewood.
Spring Creek 001 010 0 -- 2 4 2
Cary Academy 000 101 1 -- 3 5 2
One out when game-winning run scored.
Leading hitters -- Spring Creek -- Josh Gammon 1-3, 2B, RBI; Timothy Rogers 1-2; Alex Casey 1-3; Steven Best 1-3. Cary Academy -- Bradley Wilson 2-4, RBI; Preston Bull 2-2.
LOB -- Spring Creek 5, Cary Academy 7. SB -- Casey, Rogers 2, Best, Wilson 2. CS -- Hinson. SF -- Roberts.
IP H R ER BB SO
Prunest 4 1 1 0 0 2
Grady (L) 2 1/3 3 2 2 1 5
Casey 0 1 0 0 0 0
Wilson (W, 4-1) 7 4 2 2 1 9
Casey threw to one batter in 7th.
WP -- Prunest. HBP -- by Prunest (Knight), by Grady (Hamm), by Wilson (Rogers), by Wilson (Potter).
T -- 1:34.
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