Comeback: Spring Creek offense comes alive in fifth
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 25, 2009 1:47 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Greene Central couldn't put out the fire.
Spring Creek scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for a dramatic 12-9, non-conference win over the Rams on Tuesday afternoon.
Greene Central led 6-2 entering the home half of the fifth before the Gators rallied. Duane Gurganus began the comeback with an RBI single. Paul Hayes' bases-loaded walk scored Corey Howell and trimmed the margin to 6-4.
Lucas Potter followed with a two-run single to left field and Ricky Brayboy's RBI single gave Spring Creek a 7-6 lead. Will Bland's single scored Potter and Howell's two-run double capped off the inning.
"Our guys just made up their minds they weren't going to make the last out of the inning," said Gators head coach Heath Whitfield. "We put the ball in play and good things happened and that's what it takes."
Rams starting pitcher Alex Brann was lifted early in the fifth and head coach Scott Jones called upon three different relievers to help extinguish Spring Creek's rally.
"We just couldn't get outs," said Jones. "We ran four different arms out there and we were throwing fastballs, and they were sitting dead red and they got some key hits."
The Rams pushed across three runs in the top the sixth and pulled to within 11-9. Spring Creek reliever Paul Hayes came in and tossed two scoreless innings of relief to silence the Greene Central bats and earn the save.
"Paul did a great job," said Whitfield. "He's a senior and he's the only pitcher with any varsity experience that we have. We like to have him in those situations when the game is on the line. He knows what to do. He's been there before."
The Rams (4-3 overall) started their scoring with three runs on three hits in the top of the second inning.
Will Bynum's RBI single and Brann's RBI double extended Greene Central's lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth. Zack Chase added an RBI double to increase the margin to 6-0.
However, Greene Central left 12 runners on base including 10 in the first five innings.
"I told my boys I was proud we made a charge there in the top of the sixth and scored a run in the seventh, but we left so many baserunners on early that was disappointing that we didn't cash in on those runs," said Jones.
Hayes' sacrifice fly and Brayboy's RBI single sliced the Rams lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Gurganus, Potter (two RBI) and Brayboy (two RBI) each finished with two hits for the Gators. Chase was 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Rams. Brann, Wes Sowers, Jasper Jones and Trent Murray each collected two hits.
Greene Central hosts Southern Wayne today, while Spring Creek (6-3) visits North Lenoir on Thursday.
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