03/28/08 — Early-inning uprisings spark Rosewood

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Early-inning uprisings spark Rosewood

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 28, 2008 2:39 PM

PRINCETON -- A week-long break seemed to favor Rosewood's offense Thursday evening.

The Eagles collected four first-inning runs on just two hits and rode the momentum to a 12-2, five-inning victory over Spring Creek in the 2008 Deacon Jones Invitational. Rosewood, the two-time defending champion, opposes archrival Princeton in today's title game at 7 p.m.

Taylor Allen smacked a two-run homer in the first. Cody Richards added an RBI double and scored on Steven Bostic's sacrifice fly to cap the offensive uprising.

"Getting out early and jumping out to a lead was certainly big for us," said third-year Rosewood coach Josh Smith. "Especially in this tournament, when we are playing a conference opponent early in the year."

Rosewood stretched its lead to 9-0 in the second inning.

Zach Grantham led off with a single and trotted home on Robert Franks' homer. Spring Creek starter Anthony Brogden issued back-to-back walks to Neal and Allen, and retired to the dugout.

Richards greeted reliever Tim Rogers with a two-RBI double. Bostic plated Richards with a single to complete the back-breaking rally.

"We have been hitting the ball well over the last three games, and that carried into tonight," Smith said. "At practice we have been trying to stress patience, and being able to put the ball in play no matter what the opponent throws at us."

Spring Creek broke into the scoring column in the third inning when Lucas Potter scored on an Alex Casey single. The run gave the visiting fans a glimmer of hope, only to have it snuffed out in the next Rosewood at-bat.

An Allen single, and a pair of Gator errors gave Rosewood a 10-1 lead.

The Eagles ended the contest via the mercy rule in the fifth frame, as Bostic singled home Rains for the second time.

Taylor Allen went the distance on the mound to earn the victory. The senior captain only allowed one earned run on three hits.

"Taylor is a leader, and you can't ask much more than what he's done, that's a senior stepping up for his team," Smith said. "He has had two good outings prior to tonight, and we haven't been able to give him the run support.

"He has been good so far for us."

The victory sets up a rematch of last year's championship against the Bulldogs. The Eagles prevailed 7-6 in an eight-inning thriller.

"Whenever you get Rosewood and Princeton playing, it's going to be a good game, because it's such a good rivalry," Smith said. "We always look forward to playing them. I really respect coach Proctor and his program.

"It should be fun."

The Gators face Dixon in the consolation game at 4 p.m.

"I thought we'd come out ready to play, especially against our biggest rival, but tonight they jumped on us early and they were ready to go," said second-year Spring Creek coach Heath Whitfield. "We got ourselves in a hole, and never got out."

"Our pitching has been pretty good, with tonight being an exception, and the fielding has been our Achilles heel thus far. We have to come out tomorrow afternoon and turn it around."