05/23/08 — UNC Wilmington recruit Jones fans 15, surrenders just one hit

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UNC Wilmington recruit Jones fans 15, surrenders just one hit

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 23, 2008 4:31 PM

PRINCETON -- Thomas Jones did his job.

The Topsail ace tossed a complete-game, one-hitter and logged 15 strikeouts as the Pirates stopped Princeton 6-0 in game one of their best-of-three, Class 1-A eastern regional championship series Thursday evening.

Game two is today at Topsail. First pitch is 7 p.m.

"I was really pleased with what we were able to get out of Tom tonight," said Topsail head coach Bill White. "He was able to locate his curveball and that made him even more effective."

Jones recorded his fourth playoff victory and snapped the Dawgs' string of four consecutive postseason wins.

"You have to give that young man a lot of credit," said Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor. "He went through a stretch where he was just about untouchable."

Jones, a UNC Wilmington recruit, received ample run support in the first inning. The Pirates plated three runs -- all with two outs.

Dan Redinger and Jones drew back-to-back walks ahead of a Brock Jaeger RBI single. Josh Bossio followed with a walk and scored two pitches later when Casey Justice reached on an error.

Nine walks and three errors factored into Princeton's demise.

The Bulldogs (17-11 overall) threatened in both the first and second innings, thanks to three walks issued by Jones, but were unable to push a run across.

"I didn't think our approach at the plate was very good tonight," said Proctor. "When you have a kid throwing like that, you have to be disciplined."

The Pirates added an insurance run in the third inning when Redinger scored on a passed ball. Four runs would be plenty for Jones as he consistently retired the Bulldawgs' hitters.

Ryan Daughtry notched Princeton's lone hit -- a third-inning, two-out single.

"We put ourselves in a good position by winning the first game of the series," said White. "Maybe tomorrow I will be surprised, and we will get another great pitching performance at home."

Princeton, the reigning N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state champion, faces elimination today.

"The nice thing is that we have seen their best pitcher, so tomorrow we can come out relaxed and take a better approach in the batters' box," said Proctor.