04/15/08 — Princeton upsets Aycock 5-4

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Princeton upsets Aycock 5-4

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 15, 2008 3:33 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton slumbered through two-plus innings and hardly opened its eyes on a dreary, chilly Monday afternoon.

But the sleeping dog woke up.

Michael Radford's third-inning double and sixth-inning single ignited two scoring rallies as Princeton clawed past Charles B. Aycock 5-4 on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex baseball diamond.

"I thought the whole day we were so laid back and that's not the way I like to play," said Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor. "I like to play with getting after it, showing some intensity and enthusiasm. It wasn't a real good day for baseball, either."

The Golden Falcons, ranked No. 6 in the latest ImpactBaseball.com 3-A poll, suffered their fourth non-conference loss of the season.

"What's so disappointing about it (the loss) is on a cool, windy day like this, there were very few on the field today who wanted to play," said Aycock head coach Charles Davis. "Hopefully, we'll learn a lesson. The good thing is it's a non-conference (game)."

While Princeton rested quietly in its dog house, Aycock (13-5 overall) misfired on several chances to sweep the regular-season series. The Golden Falcons put runners aboard in every inning, but left six of nine men stranded in scoring position.

One runner paid the price for a base-running mistake in the second inning. Bulldogs catcher Michael Radford gunned down two runners at second base in the fourth inning.

Aycock logged seven hits, including two with runners in scoring position.

"I was very disappointed in our approach at the plate," said Davis. "A lackadaisical attitude is something we haven't shown all year."

Princeton barely bit at the ball during the first three innings.

Golden Falcon hurler Bryant Hill disrupted the Bulldogs' timing by effectively mixing his curveball and changeup. The senior right-hander retired eight consecutive batters, including four by strikeout.

Hill's perfect-game and no-hit bid ended in the third, however. He plunked Adam Peedin on the helmet with two outs and that one break stirred the Bulldogs from their peaceful recline.

Patrick Jacobs blooped a double into shallow right field and Radford, a senior, cleared the bases with a two-RBI double into left field. Ryan Daughtry tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single.

"(Hill) threw the ball well and it just took us a while to get the feel for it, I guess," said Proctor. "It wasn't like we really rattled it around the ballpark as much as we had a couple of timely hits that had some eyes on them.

"It's a funny game."

After his shaky third, Hill posted seven consecutive outs until Radford's lead-off single in the sixth. Radford didn't score, but he spurred his teammates, who responded with quality at-bats.

Daughtry (2-for-3) singled and Hill walked Benton Myers to load the bases. Golden Falcon catcher Zach Wright caught Radford on a squeeze-bunt attempt for the first out.

An infield error loaded the bases again and Hill issued an RBI walk to Chris Hinton, which forged a 4-4 tie. Kameron Harrison, who emerged the winning pitcher, plated Myers with a squeeze-bunt single.

Aycock escaped further damage with an inning-ending double play.

Hill drew a walk to start the Golden Falcons' seventh inning. He moved into scoring position on two passed balls and trotted home on Jordan Carr's one-out single.

But Carr, along with Narron and Wright, never crossed the plate. Dillon Daughtry relieved Harrison and induced back-to-back outs to end the game.

"That's a good baseball team and we feel fortunate to pull this one out," said Proctor.