04/16/08 — Eagles profit from extra outs vs. PHS

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Eagles profit from extra outs vs. PHS

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 16, 2008 3:01 PM

Rarely does giving an opponent free outs not come at a cost.

Rosewood benefited from a pair of walks in a three-run, fifth-inning surge which broke open a tight game and led to a 7-2 victory over Class 1-A Carolina Conference archrival Princeton.

Bulldogs' starter Chris Hinton issued free passes to Taylor Allen and Cody Richards before Will Beasley delivered a two-out, two-run double to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead. Eric Martel pushed the margin to 5-2 with an RBI single.

Hinton fell behind five of the six batters he faced in the fifth and even with his pitch count nearing 100, Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor elected to leave Hinton on the mound.

The decision left Proctor second-guessing himself.

"You can't pitch from behind and walks always come back and bite you in the rear end," Proctor said. "His pitch count was getting up there and we were concerned about it. I feel like we waited too late. I'll take the blame right there, looking back I wish we had made a pitching change."

Rosewood (8-7 overall, 3-2 Carolina) used Robert Franks' sacrifice fly and a Bulldog error to push across two more runs in the home half of the sixth. Franks and Martel both finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Allen terrorized Princeton all night, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI, two runs scored, two stolen bases and a walk. His two-run double in the first gave the Eagles an early 2-0 advantage.

On the mound, he tossed a complete game allowing just two runs (both earned) on seven hits with eight strikeouts and just one walk. The senior right-hander appeared to get stronger as the game progressed. He recorded six of his eight strikeouts in the final four innings combined.

"Taylor's our senior leader," said Rosewood head coach Josh Smith. "His senior year, to have the chance to pitch against Princeton at home, is something pretty much everybody looks forward to. He put us on his shoulders tonight and he carried us."

The Bulldogs tied the game at 2-2 in the second with Benton Myers' RBI infield single and Dillion Daughtry's run-scoring groundout. However, Princeton also left runners on the corners in the first inning, and also stranded a pair of baserunners in both the fifth and seventh innings.

"Especially early we left runners on base and just couldn't come through there when we needed to," Proctor said.

The Bulldogs (7-8, 3-2) received a valiant effort out of Michael Radford as the senior finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Radford made several fine stops on balls in the dirt while behind the plate and also gunned down one would-be base stealer. The senior also came on in relief of Hinton in the sixth.

"He does it all," Proctor said of Radford. "He could play anywhere on the baseball field. I'm just so happy with him, he's done a great job for us of covering whatever hole we have."

After dropping a conference contest at North Duplin on Friday Rosewood used plenty of determination along with the confidence gained in downing Princeton earlier this season to capture a key conference win.

"We've been fortunate enough to beat Princeton in the Deacon Jones tournament the past three years," Smith said. "I think the boys were hungry for a win. I think the loss Friday night against North Duplin really motivated them."