04/30/08 — Eagles' Allen hurls no-hitter vs. Rebels

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Eagles' Allen hurls no-hitter vs. Rebels

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 30, 2008 2:48 PM

Taylor Allen guaranteed nobody would forget his final appearance on the Rosewood High baseball mound.

The senior right-hander threw a six-inning, no-hitter as the Eagles beat Class 1-A Carolina Conference rival North Duplin 12-2 on senior night at The Nest.

"Taylor was great and senior night was big for us," Rosewood coach Josh Smith said. "All the guys on the team wanted to send the three seniors (Allen, Holt Rains and Robert Franks) out on a high note because eventually everyone is going to be in the position where it's their final game."

There were tense moments for Allen, however.

North Duplin's Billy Mello took the game's opening pitch off the shoulder and was immediately sacrificed to second base. Two batters later, Mello raced home on a Rosewood error.

Allen delivered in the clutch for the Eagles in the third inning.

Cody Richards drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Matt Neal's single. With a man on first, Allen (2-for-4, four RBI) waited on a pitch he could handle and drove a fastball deep over the fence in right center field.

North Duplin answered during its next at-bat.

Trea Beavers and Marcus Kornegay each reached base on Rosewood miscues. Will Lanier loaded the bases on a bobbled grounder and Brian Chase collected an RBI with a bases-loaded walk.

The one-run difference stood until the fifth inning.

Richards drew a lead-off walk and trotted around the bases on consecutive hits. When the inning finally ended, the Eagles had parlayed three hits, three walks, a hit batsman and an error into an eight-run outburst.

Rosewood led 11-2.

"There's really not much to say tonight," said Rebels head coach Joey Keefe. "We had one inning where we got into trouble, and before we got things straightened out, eight runs had scored."

Robert Franks scored on a sixth-inning wild pitch to induce the 10-run mercy rule. Rosewood (11-9 overall) climbed to 5-4 in league play and is tied with archrival Princeton and Ayden-Grifton for second place.

"I give our guys a lot of credit they were patient and they let things come to them," Smith said. "When North Duplin changed pitchers, our guys didn't get restless and start going after first-pitches."

The Eagles conclude regular-season play Friday at Princeton.

"I know we are close in the standings, but that really doesn't matter," Smith said. "When we have a chance to play Princeton we know it is going to be a packed house. It doesn't matter if both teams are 0-20 on the season, people in both communities have this game circled on their calendars."

North Duplin (4-11, 2-7 Carolina) finishes its 2008 season with a home game against Spring Creek on Thursday.