04/24/09 — Dawgs roll over Gators

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Dawgs roll over Gators

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 24, 2009 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- One big inning propelled Princeton to a much-needed Carolina 1-A Conference baseball victory Thursday evening.

The Dawgs used a five-run, second-inning uprising to defeat Spring Creek 7-3 and avoid a series sweep against their league opponent. A 10-error outing just two days earlier seemed a distant memory on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex diamond.

"We did a good job of not beating ourselves," said Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor. "We give up a couple big innings on Tuesday and it cost us, tonight we string together a couple hits and hold on for a win."

Princeton seized a 5-0 lead on just three hits in the second frame.

Dillon Daughtry reached on an error and Sean Carpenter singled. Luke Mitchell delivered an RBI base hit two batters later and advanced to second when Tyler Daniels reached on the Gators' second error of the inning.

Patrick Jacobs drew a one-out walk and spelled the end of the night for Gator starter Corey Howell. Benton Myers drew a free pass in front of Dylan Myers' RBI single that capped the outburst.

"We are still having problems getting hits with runners in scoring position and that makes defense that much more important," said Gators head coach Heath Whitfield said. "A couple errors cost us early and we couldn't come back."

Spring Creek attempted a comeback in the fourth inning.

Lucas Potter led off with a single and moved into scoring position on Paul Hayes' base hit. Eric Evans walked to load the bases and Howell delivered a two-run single that plated Potter and Hayes.

The Gators added a third run on Hayes' sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to pull within 5-3, but Dawgs' starting pitcher Andrew Clough stopped the rally and stranded a pair of runners one inning later.

"Andrew threw a great game. He did all we could ask," said Proctor. "He made some good pitches to get out of a couple jams and he was consistently in the strike zone."

The Dawgs added two insurance runs in the sixth inning on a perfectly played suicide squeeze.

Mitchell walked and Matt Leverette reached on an error. The duo advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and Leverette was replaced by pinch-runner Tyler Baker. One pitch later, Jacobs dropped a squeeze bunt that was thrown to first to record the forceout.

Baker never slowed down rounding third and dove across home plate under a high throw.

"Tyler is a senior and he is a very good base runner," said Proctor. "He decided on his own that he could make it and he really made a great play."

Princeton (8-11 overall, 2-4 CC) travels to North Duplin on Tuesday, while Spring Creek (8-9, 1-5) visits Ayden-Grifton the same evening.