Princeton thumps Hobbton in 1-A playoffs
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2007 1:49 PM
PRINCETON -- Princeton needed just 70 minutes to dismantle Hobbton in their opening-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A baseball playoff contest Thursday evening.
Bulldog right-hander Chris Hinton threw a two-hitter in an 11-0 triumph on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex diamond. The three-time defending Carolina Conference champion, Princeton (20-5 overall) entertains the winner of today's game between Wallace-Rose Hill and Heide Trask.
Hobbton exited 6-14 overall, including an 0-8 ledger against Carolina Conference teams.
"It's good to get it and let's go to the next one," said PHS head coach Bruce Proctor.
Hinton allowed just three base runners in the contest, which was shortened to 41/2 innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Matt Spell spoiled Hinton's no-hitter with a third-inning single and Jo Thornton cranked out a base hit in the fourth.
Including the two singles, the Wildcats hit just five balls out of the infield. Hinton induced three ground balls and notched five of his eight strikeouts in the first three innings.
"Chris threw the ball well; hit his spots and looked good," said Proctor. "He wasn't overpowering or anything, but he was steady."
While Hinton tossed a balanced game on the mound, the Bulldogs appeared sporadic at the plate. Proctor felt his team struggled with its pitch selection and patience in the box.
"We've been hitting in spurts and that's been the story of us all year," said Proctor. "I wish I knew (why). At times I thought we were impatient up there and sometimes we had some poor pitch selection.
"But, overall, we had some quality at-bats."
Senior Ryan Daughtry supplied the game-winning RBI -- a first-inning double which scored lead-off batter Colin Parker. Daughtry emerged one of seven Dawgs to record at least one hit against the right-handed Thornton.
Thornton yielded five extra-base knocks in his nine-hit outing and surrendered six earned runs. He threw a perfect third inning, but let the game slip away in the fourth.
Princeton parlayed four hits, including three doubles, and two infield errors into a six-run uprising. Hinton tossed a perfect fifth for the Dawgs and retired the final five batters he faced.
Hobbton 000 00 -- 0 2 3
Princeton 230 6x -- 11 9 0
Leading hitters -- Hobbton -- Jo Thornton 1-2; Matt Spell 1-1. Princeton -- Colin Parker 2-2, 3B, RBI; Daniel Gerrell 1-3, 2 RBI; Ryan Daughtry 1-2, 2B, RBI; Adam Nethercutt 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Dustin Pate 1-3, 2B, RBI; Jon Hartley 1-2, 2B; Jared McLamb 1-2, RBI.
LOB -- Hobbton 2, Princeton 3. SB -- Parker 2, Gerrell, McLamb.
IP H R ER BB SO
Thornton (L) 32/3 9 11 6 2 3
Skinner 1/3 0 0 0 0 0
Hinton (W) 5 2 0 0 0 8
WP -- Thornton 2. PB -- Spell.
T -- 1:10.
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