04/27/08 — Rosewood collects key league win

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Rosewood collects key league win

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 27, 2008 2:03 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Rosewood is back in the playoff chase.

Spring Creek is hanging on for dear life.

The Eagles claimed a 3-2 victory Friday evening and swept the Class 1-A Carolina Conference regular-season series by a combined two runs. Rosewood (10-9 overall) snapped a two-game skid and evened its league ledger at 4-4.

The Gators, who suffered their second straight one-run defeat in three days, exited 3-5 against conference opposition.

"We've been in two close ball games and the conference is tough from top to bottom," said Rosewood head coach Josh Smith. "To get back on top with the race as close as it is right now, is a relief for us. The boys played outstanding, held their head up and kept their (Gators') feet to the fire tonight."

Rosewood and Spring Creek (7-14)entered the contest in a three-way tie with Princeton for third place in the conference standings. The Eagles seized sole possession of third with the victory, while the Gators and Dawgs tumbled into a fourth-place tie.

The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

"Our pitching and defense has been great," said Gators head coach Heath Whitfield.

The offense ... not so much. The Gators have produced just two runs in 14 innings this week, which includes a 1-0 loss Tuesday at Ayden-Grifton.

"We can't get it done right now offensively," said Gators head coach Heath Whitfield. "If you told me we'd give up four runs this week and took two losses, I'd think you were crazy. It just tears your heart out."

Spring Creek senior Alex Casey connected on lead-off singles in the first and fifth innings. He scored on Dontay Boseman's two-out base knock in the first, and trotted home on Steven Best's, fifth-inning sacrifice fly to deep right field. Boseman finished the night 2-for-3.

The remaining seven Gators combined for just two hits against Rosewood starter Matt Neal. The right-hander permitted six hits and posted three strikeouts in a six-inning stint. He retired five of the final six batters he faced and benefited from a double play in the sixth.

"A big double play," said a grinning Smith. "Matt pitched an outstanding game and kept the ball down. He had confidence in us when he gave us a ground ball. It was our first game with no errors."

Taylor Allen threw a perfect seventh for the save.

Rosewood used four hits, a wild pitch and an error to post two, second-inning runs. Steven Bostic had a sacrifice RBI fly during that stretch. The Eagles added a third-inning run on Jonathan Franks' bases-loaded, groundout to first base.

The Gators threatened in the fourth, but left runners on the corners when Neal induced a flyout and pop-up in foul territory. Casey and Boseman reached in the fifth and sixth, respectively. Boseman was thrown out at second on the double play.

"We've still got two tough games," said Smith. "That's what I love about the Carolina Conference. Every night you're playing a playoff-caliber team. I'm proud of the boys and Spring Creek played an outstanding game as well."