05/04/08 — Daughtry tosses two-hit six-inning gem for PHS

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Daughtry tosses two-hit six-inning gem for PHS

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 4, 2008 2:01 AM

PRINCETON -- Princeton needed little motivation in its regular-season baseball finale Friday evening.

The opponent was archrival Rosewood.

Four seniors were honored.

And second place in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference, not to mention a home playoff game, was on the line.

Ryan Daughtry threw a six-inning gem and the Bulldogs used a five-run, sixth-inning outburst to turn back the Eagles 7-1 on Friday evening. Princeton (13-10 overall) clinched second place in the league and will begin defense of its state championship at home next Friday.

Rosewood (11-10, 5-5 Carolina) will travel in the opening round.

"These seniors will never forget this," said Bulldogs head coach Bruce Proctor. "This has been a tough league and everyone has beat up on each other. This gives us a little momentum going into the playoffs. We want to be peaking right now."

The teams battled to a 1-1 deadlock after 2 1/2 innings. The Dawgs' Dillon Daughtry scored on a first-inning error. The Eagles' Taylor Allen trotted home on a second-inning, bases-loaded error in the third inning.

Senior Michael Radford delivered the go-ahead RBI groundout in the third inning. Princeton kept the one-run advantage as Ryan Daughtry retired Rosewood in order in the fourth and fifth innings.

The Eagles threatened in the sixth.

Allen stroked a one-out double to center and Robert Franks drew a two-out walk. Daughtry induced Steven Bostic into an inning-ending groundout to escape further trouble.

Rosewood finished with two hits and five runners on base. Four errors didn't help the visitors' cause, either.

"We gave ourselves a chance and we left quite a few men on base," said Eagles head coach Josh Smith said. "We also made base-running mistakes. If we get some runs across early, it's a different ballgame, but that's the nature of the game."

The Dawgs broke loose in the sixth.

Cameron Harrison got things going with a one-out walk and Josh Bizzell followed with a single. Adam Peedin drove home Harrison and Bizzell with a two-run triple. Peedin, the ninth hitter in Princeton's lineup, finished 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.

"I've got to give Adam a lot of credit. He had a big night," said Proctor. "When you're nine-hole guy who does that, it's pretty good."

Patrick Jacobs followed Peedin with an RBI bunt single. Daughtry capped the five-run fifth with a triple that plated Jacobs. An errant relay throw landed in the Bulldogs' dugout, which allowed Daughtry to score.

Daughtry plunked the Eagles' Will Beasley to start the seventh. Chris Hinton appeared in relief as Daughtry finished with a two-hit, six-strikeout performance. Daughtry moved to shortstop and capped his senior night with a diving stop behind second base on Zach Grantham's ground ball. He popped up, threw to first and the Dawgs avenged two losses to the Eagles this season.

"That's the kind of senior night you dream about," said Proctor of Daughtry's effort. "He threw the ball really well and played really good defense. He swung the bat well. I was very pleased with him."