05/23/07 — Princeton reaches regional final

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Princeton reaches regional final

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 23, 2007 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- Dustin Pate provided a game-winning, walk-off single in the eighth inning and Princeton edged Topsail 3-2 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A baseball playoffs Tuesday evening.

The Dawgs (21-6 overall) advanced to the eastern finals for the first time since 2004. They begin a best-of-three series at home Thursday against Camden County, which upset No. 1-ranked Manteo 1-0.

"We had several chances early and couldn't get anything going," said Princeton coach Bruce Proctor. "It was a great ball game."

In the eighth inning, No. 2-ranked Topsail manufactured the go-ahead run on two wild pitches and two errors against Princeton reliever Ryan Daughtry.

The Dawgs answered in the eighth.

Catcher Daniel Gerrell reached on an infield error. After a strikeout, Adam Nethercutt singled to move Gerrell into scoring position. Andrew Cobb drove in Gerrell and Nethercutt crossed home on Pate's base knock.

The Pirates (24-4) drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth, which broke a scoreless deadlock. Princeton, No. 8 in the latest ImpactBaseball.com 1-A poll, tied it at 1-1 on Daughtry's single.

Daughtry, Pate and lead-off batter Colin Parker led the Dawgs with two hits apiece. Gerrell, Nethercutt, Cobb and Jared McLamb each added a hit.

Will Rand and John Morris cranked out two hits apiece for Topsail.