04/01/09 — Rosewood takes league opener vs. A-G

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Rosewood takes league opener vs. A-G

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 1, 2009 1:46 PM

Early on, Rosewood couldn't solve Ayden-Grifton starting pitcher Austin Bowden.

The Eagles all but owned him when the night was over.

Bowden recorded four strikeouts in the first two innings and took a shutout into the fourth before the Eagles roughed him up in their 7-4 victory on Tuesday evening.

It was the Carolina 1-A Conference opener for both teams.

Trailing 1-0, Rosewood started the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles from Steven Bostic and Cody Richards. Bowden's throw to first base on Will Beasley's sacrifice bunt attempt sailed high, and Bostic and Richards both scored to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

Scott Pate tacked on an RBI single before the fourth inning concluded to increase Rosewood's lead to 3-1.

Beasley tossed 5 1/3 gutsy innings on the mound for the Eagles and worked out of potentially disastrous trouble in the top of the fifth.

The Chargers had the bases loaded with two outs and were a hit away from tying the game or taking the lead. After a mound visit from first-year head coach Jason King, Beasley managed to strike out Bryant Vandiford on a 3-2 count to avoid further damage.

Beasley allowed three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

"I went to the mound and talked to Will and I said, 'you just get us out of this right here,'" King said of the fifth-inning jam. "He came up and made some big plays for us and gave us a chance. Will did a great job for us and if he keeps pitching like that and gets more consistent, he may start some more games."

Taylor Price greeted Bowden with a lead-off triple to start the home half of the fifth. Matt Neal followed with an RBI double and the Eagles led 4-1. Bostic's single scored Neal and chased Bowden from the ballgame.

Bostic finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and Richards collected three hits.

Bowden allowed six earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He failed to record a strikeout after the second inning.

"It took us a while to get started tonight," said King. "I was telling one of my assistant coaches 'we need some bats to come around.' Sure enough, the very next inning we came up and hit the ball and started putting it in play.

"All I can ask for them is to put the ball in play."

James McNeil's single to right field off Chargers reliever Adam Craft brought home Bostic and Richards to extend the margin to 7-1.

Eric Tripp was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth to pull Ayden-Grifton to within 7-2. Matt Gathercole followed with a run scoring fielder's choice to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Vandiford scored on an error in the top of the seventh to complete the Chargers' scoring.

Richards worked 1 2/3 innings of relief, and allowed one earned run on one hit with three strikeouts and a walk.

Rosewood (7-2, 1-0 Carolina) visits North Johnston on Friday. First pitch is 7 p.m.